The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[D&D 5E] Xanathar's Guide to Striking a Nerve

19394959799

Posts

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    The counterspell spell takes your reaction, though. So I guess you have to counterspell without knowing exactly what the badguys are casting, and just hope that they're casting something it's worth burning your spell slot on?

    That's what my casters do. Very rarely is the enemy caster wasting their turn on a useless spell

    Which is really the overall point of counterspell. It burns the opponents action that round.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    A duck! wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You could have one person use a reaction to name the spell, call it out as a free action, and have another person use the counterspell right?

    Can you use a free action when it's not your turn? I don't have the book handy.

    Yes. Free actions are free. Also valuable for your sorcerers who do not train in arcana

    wbBv3fj.png
  • A duck!A duck! Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Goumindong wrote: »
    A duck! wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You could have one person use a reaction to name the spell, call it out as a free action, and have another person use the counterspell right?

    Can you use a free action when it's not your turn? I don't have the book handy.

    Yes. Free actions are free. Also valuable for your sorcerers who do not train in arcana

    I just checked, and the PHB only states that you can make brief utterances on your turn.

    MrVyngaard
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Really? Talking is generally free so long as it’s short. I will have to look

    wbBv3fj.png
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    A round of combat is 6 seconds, during that time everyone takes their actions. So if someone can take the time to recognize a spell (reaction)and communicate their findings to the group (free action) then thats cool. I imagine yelling "firebaallll" as a player recognizes a spell and someone else quickly countering it fits within the RAI.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
    italianranmaJustTeewebguy20Moridin889
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 8
    So I think I figured out the nimblewright
    Nimblewright

    Medium Construct
    AC: 18 (+7 dex, +1 natural armor)
    Hit Points: 83 (10d8+30)
    Speed: 40 ft

    Abilities: Str 19, Dex 24, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 19

    Saves: dex +10
    Skills: Athletics +7, Acrobatics +10
    Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't adamantine
    Damage Immunities: force, necrotic, poison
    Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned, sleep, disease
    Damage Vulnerabilities: cold, fire
    Senses: blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 14
    Languages: understands the languages of its creator(We'll get into that), and aquan, but can't speak
    CR: LoL who knows

    Innate Spellcasting:The nimblewrights spellcasting ability is charisma (spell save DC 15). The nimblewright can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
    At Will: disguise self, enhance ability (cats grace, self only), Blur, feather fall (self only), haste (self only)

    Magic Resistance:The nimblewright has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

    Spring Attack: the nimblewright does not provoke opportunity attacks from those it has attacked this round

    Augmented Critical: the nimblewright's rapier attacks crit on a 19-20

    Actions:
    Multiattack: the nimblewright makes two rapier attacks

    Rapier: melee weapon attack, +10 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target, hit 14(2d6+7) piercing damage. On a critical hit the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity Saving throw or be knocked prone.
    The ones my players are going to run into will currently be lacking spells.

    It's going to be your good old fashioned find some old robots, get attacked by old robots, reprogram robots to help while under attack from said robots type of situation. First floor of the facility is mostly empty, maybe a gelatinous cube or two on eternal cleanup rounds, second floor down we get some standard underground fare as well as some water mephits/elementals (as well as a library and info dump), third floor down we run into the constructs (and a few of the different things the players must do to reactivate and properly purpose the town's somewhat eternal guardians)
    .

    Sleep on
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Pretty sure I'd ballpark the version without spells around CR 7ish, with the caveat that the combination of high AC, high attack bonus, spell resistance, and an expanded crit range is likely to lead to a pretty swingy fight where a few bad die rolls might make things go south in a hurry.

    The version with spells is gonna be a much more significant threat because putting haste on that dude is going to bump his damage output by 50% and put his AC up to 20, which will be tough to consistently hit for most players below level ~10 or so (+4 proficiency bonus from level 9-12, +5 stat bonus from 20 primary, and a +1 magic weapon is still only gonna hit half the time - there are very few things below CR 15 that have 20 AC. Blur instead of haste doesn't improve his damage, but it does give him an effective AC of about 22, and the lowest-CR creature with an AC that high is a CR 21 Ancient Black Dragon.). I'd tentatively put it around CR 9.

    I might lower his AC a point or two and give him some more HP to compensate, just to even out the fight a little. You could probably also safely take Blur away from the spellcasting version - 'passive disadvantage on incoming attacks plus a high AC AND passive advantage on saves against spells plus high spell saves' is likely to be a little frustrating to fight, and you're gonna prefer to have Haste up most of the time anyway (and can't have both, since they both take concentration).

    Moridin889italianranmaSleepFryJustTee
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 9
    Nimblewright second pass
    Nimblewright

    Medium Construct
    AC: 17 (+7 dex)
    Hit Points: 83 (10d8+30)
    Speed: 40 ft

    Abilities: Str 19, Dex 24, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 19

    Saves: dex +9
    Skills: Athletics +6, Acrobatics +9
    Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't adamantine
    Damage Immunities: force, necrotic, poison
    Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned, sleep, disease
    Damage Vulnerabilities: cold, fire
    Senses: blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 13
    Languages: understands the languages of its creator(We'll get into that), and aquan, but can't speak
    CR: LoL who knows

    Innate Spellcasting:The nimblewrights spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). The nimblewright can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
    At Will: disguise self, enhance ability (cats grace, self only), feather fall (self only), haste (self only)

    Magic Resistance:The nimblewright has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

    Spring Attack: the nimblewright does not provoke opportunity attacks from those it has attacked this round

    Augmented Critical: the nimblewright's rapier attacks crit on a 19-20

    Actions:
    Multiattack: the nimblewright makes two rapier attacks

    Rapier: melee weapon attack, +9 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target, hit 14(2d6+7) piercing damage. On a critical hit the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity Saving throw or be knocked prone.

    Those were pretty much all my concerns going in with that first one. I only gave it blur to have some stand in for Entropic Shield but it really is either super annoying on this particular enemy, or just superfluous because it would always rather cast haste.

    I'd possibly experiment with this feature on it:
    Reactions:
    Entropic shielding: when the nimblewright is targeted by a ranged attack it may use its reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.

    Maybe on a 4 refresh or something
    But I'm not married to needing it.

    I pulled down its ac and attacks by removing the natural armor and lowering its overall proficiency bonus. I Like the HP where they are at.

    Sleep on
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I ended up running a one-shot yesterday at the FLGS. I used a scenario that I've had on reserve for quite some time which is basically Shawn of the Dead meets D&D. I used the pregenerated characters from the WOTC website and one player nabbed the half-orc paladin which she leveraged to great effect considering all the undead. We were nearly through the adventure when her IRL friend wandered by and I handed him the dwarven cleric's sheet and immediately set to work him into the game. At this point the PCs had stumbled through all of the big-ticket adventure points I had for them: they'd rescued the ship's captain and the pub survivors, found the rumors of the origin of this zombie plague (the northern coal mines), and were now simply scouring the town's other inns for survivors and the ship's quartermaster (whom the captain had asked them to find as part of the 'fee' for rescuing all the survivors). They had just cleaned out the second inn and found the remains of one of the town patriarchs on the second floor (with the final exposition dump of info) when the new player sat down. I ruled that he was in one of the rooms at the end of the hall that they hadn't cleared yet, and they heard some noises in there different from the shuffling and moaning of the undead. The PCs were of course curious and so called out to ask if anyone was alive. In-character, he peeked his head out, saw the blood-stained garb of the PCs (who had perfected their zombie killing tactics at this point), and went back into his room and closed & locked the door. I had a laugh at this because it does make sense, it's probably what I'd do during the zombie apocalypse, but how do you ignore a literal call to adventure PC-kun? Eventually playing off of the dwarf's greedy trait the PCs were able to convince him to come to the mine and finish the adventure.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    So is anyone else digging in on xanathars yet?

  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I got mine yesterday and like anything else D&D my opinion of each subclass is directly related to how cool the concept art of the characters is. I wasn't sold on the Zealot barbarian before, but that unhinged, scarred, homicidal fanatic with a big fuck off hammer is my next character. Along with about 12 others whose art spoke to me. In all seriousness though I like the book for what it is, but I just wish there was more stuff out for 5E. I'm ready for a full 200 page Forgotten Realms sourcebook, or a few regional 80 pagers like 3.x had. Not to mention an Eberron book. I dislike Xanathar's for what it isn't; when is the UA_Ranger class fix going to be finished and published? What about The Way of the Four Elements monk? (finalized) mass combat rules? I like the magic item distribution rules and some of the more mundane magic items, but I would have appriciated a few new artifacts and other campaign driving powerful relics. I would like Xanathar's a lot more if there was more product out there in general. As it is I think it's going to get a lot of use as this edition's version of the class options splat(s).

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Seemingly never ending splat books and power creep is what killed 3.5e for me. I'm glad that 5e had pulled back on that.

    NotoriusBENMoridin889FuselageMegaMekMrGrimoireKen OMrVyngaardGaddez
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 12
    I'm in the middle on this one, there was something awesome about being surrounded by stacks of various arcane tomes, sheefs of paper, and glowing magic items while creating 3.x characters that i found immersive and fun. However it could be exhausting and did lead to noticeable power creep, and in some groups could become a requirement. I enjoy that 5e has made it far simpler to create characters and that they are trying to avoid that power creep wth their new content.

    Sleep on
    italianranmaFuselage
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited November 12
    I'm digging the DM tools the most from Xanathar's, especially the tools options. I'm sure a lot of people knew how to houserule them in, but having it written down helps me visualize how to capitalize on using tool kits, and I think they are fun to have. It's a recognized problem when even the book says, "Why choose tools when you can choose history or some other extremely broad usage skill?" They expand tools by saying its not just using the tools, but all the knowledge surrounding the usage of those tools. So for instance, if you were investigating a crime, with knowing alchemy or poisoner's tools, you can pick up on chemicals or potions that were broken at the scene. If you were a mason and you found a secret door in a dungeon, well hell, you actually know how to pop the thing open without needed the rogue to unlock it. Being a brewer, you can get advantage on conversations with people if you get booze involved in the discussion because people are generally more friendly when the suds are flowing.

    Tools were too focused, with the explanations in Xanathar's they have been opened up enough to be an appealing choice and by focusing on a tool you can differentiate your character more without feeling so hindered by not just choosing a skill.

    NotoriusBEN on
    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam, Fortnite - NotoriusBEN
    Uplay, Arc Gigantic - notoriusben
    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 12
    I'm digging the DM tools the most from Xanathar's, especially the tools options. I'm sure a lot of people knew how to houserule them in, but having it written down helps me visualize how to capitalize on using tool kits, and I think they are fun to have. It's a recognized problem when even the book says, "Why choose tools when you can choose history or some other extremely broad usage skill?" They expand tools by saying its not just using the tools, but all the knowledge surrounding the usage of those tools. So for instance, if you were investigating a crime, with knowing alchemy or poisoner's tools, you can pick up on chemicals or potions that were broken at the scene. If you were a mason and you found a secret door in a dungeon, well hell, you actually know how to pop the thing open without needed the rogue to unlock it. Being a brewer, you can get advantage on conversations with people if you get booze involved in the discussion because people are generally more friendly when the suds are flowing.

    Tools were too focused, with the explanations in Xanathar's they have been opened up enough to be an appealing choice and by focusing on a tool you can differentiate your character more without feeling so hindered by not just choosing a skill.

    Some of the tools are fuckin boss.

    Cooks tools are freakin dope

    Like the bonus hit points aren't huge, but it's a flavorful bonus thats got good growth to it as you level.

    Sleep on
  • see317see317 Taco Count 2017: 61 Registered User regular
    How are you getting the book so early? I'm showing it's release date on the 21st.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    Smrtnik
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    How are you getting the book so early? I'm showing it's release date on the 21st.

    I think Wizards still ships stuff early to hobby stores. They had an official policy about it and everything to help the LFGS out since otherwise it's tough to argue against just picking stuff up from Amazon.

    SleepMegaMekitalianranma
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    No argument on the power creep of 3.X, and I found character creation in 4e impossible to navigate without the online builder, but I could still use a few more releases than we’ve had. It’s been 3 years and there’s only been SCAG and this book as far as player options go. I’m not saying they should go crazy, but I could do with maybe twice as much released content as what’s currently available. I might need to pick up some of the adventure modules to see if I’ve been missing out on something significant.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • see317see317 Taco Count 2017: 61 Registered User regular
    No argument on the power creep of 3.X, and I found character creation in 4e impossible to navigate without the online builder, but I could still use a few more releases than we’ve had. It’s been 3 years and there’s only been SCAG and this book as far as player options go. I’m not saying they should go crazy, but I could do with maybe twice as much released content as what’s currently available. I might need to pick up some of the adventure modules to see if I’ve been missing out on something significant.

    There's also been Volo's guide which introduced a slew of new playable races, and the DMG has a couple of new options for player characters as well IIRC.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    SteelhawkitalianranmaIvellius
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    No argument on the power creep of 3.X, and I found character creation in 4e impossible to navigate without the online builder, but I could still use a few more releases than we’ve had. It’s been 3 years and there’s only been SCAG and this book as far as player options go. I’m not saying they should go crazy, but I could do with maybe twice as much released content as what’s currently available. I might need to pick up some of the adventure modules to see if I’ve been missing out on something significant.


    The adventures have some content coming with them (monsters, NPCs, magic items) and some regional lore for where the game is taking place.

    Yawning portal seems especially cool because it gives you setting by setting variations on each adventure. Like what to change about the adventure to drop it into say ebberon or dragonlance.

    Fuselageitalianranma
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I like the crime rules

  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    No argument on the power creep of 3.X, and I found character creation in 4e impossible to navigate without the online builder, but I could still use a few more releases than we’ve had. It’s been 3 years and there’s only been SCAG and this book as far as player options go. I’m not saying they should go crazy, but I could do with maybe twice as much released content as what’s currently available. I might need to pick up some of the adventure modules to see if I’ve been missing out on something significant.

    It's particularly frustrating because nearly all of the content from Xanathar's is just 'revised' official versions of the unearthed arcana content we already have. There's not really much new stuff, unless you're particularly excited that they fixed the action economy problem from Samurai (and then nerfed it into the fucking ground), or that Hexblades can use 2-handed weapons now. It literally includes slightly edited versions of most of the subclasses that were already printed in SCAG (Mastermind, Swashbuckler, Storm Sorcerer), which don't seem to serve much purpose except to inflate the page/content count.

    There are some new spells (Find Greater Steed is notable for paladins) but even most of those are just revised versions of UA spells, and mostly revised in ways that make them pretty underwhelming compared to existing spells. And then it, again, spends a bunch of pages on spells that were already printed in the EEPC supplement.

    The downtime rules are useful and cool, but, again, they were already printed for free in UA.

    There's finally some good, usable guidance on how to hand out magic items without just using the random item tables, which is great but feels like it's something that should definitely have been in the DMG the first time around.

    And then there's the fact that out of the book's 192 pages, there are literally 20 pages of random encounter tables and 17 pages of random npc name generation tables.

    I'm pretty wildly underwhelmed by this release, and particularly by the "Fart out amateurish UA content that has clearly had no playtesting, little thought, and barely even a cursory editing pass applied to it, let the players spend time and effort testing and fixing it, then compile the revisions they suggest into a book and sell it back to them for $30" model that it seems to follow.

    italianranmaMrVyngaardJustTee
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I mean that's how it is likely to continue:

    Release UA content, listen to public response, do revisions, possibly repeat the UA release process, release in print. That's literally the design process for 5e outside adventure content.

    I'd expect there to be UA versions of most things they print.

    The randomization tables are content I really enjoy, and will likely use more than anything else in this book.

    Fry
  • HellboreHellbore There are no strings on me Registered User regular
    edited November 13
    A lot of those reprints were due to Adventurer League rules, which I believe is PHB +1. So consolidating SCAG options and the Elemental Evil spells, lets players use them all with the new stuff from Xanathar's

    Hellbore on
    SleepMrVyngaard
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Hellbore wrote: »
    A lot of those reprints were due to Adventurer League rules, which I believe is PHB +1. So consolidating SCAG options and the Elemental Evil spells, lets players use them all with the new stuff from Xanathar's

    I'm not going to say that isn't true but it sure is absurd. Isn't AL run by like a single dude? This isn't like the MBA where a rule change is a big large McHuge issue for them. Given comparative sizes I feel reusing content just for the AL is very much a tail wagging the dog situation. I find it was more plausible that the D&D staff is like half a dozen folks at the moment and so they did everything they could to pad out the book to justify it's $50 price tag.

    italianranma
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    I'm digging the DM tools the most from Xanathar's, especially the tools options. I'm sure a lot of people knew how to houserule them in, but having it written down helps me visualize how to capitalize on using tool kits, and I think they are fun to have. It's a recognized problem when even the book says, "Why choose tools when you can choose history or some other extremely broad usage skill?" They expand tools by saying its not just using the tools, but all the knowledge surrounding the usage of those tools. So for instance, if you were investigating a crime, with knowing alchemy or poisoner's tools, you can pick up on chemicals or potions that were broken at the scene. If you were a mason and you found a secret door in a dungeon, well hell, you actually know how to pop the thing open without needed the rogue to unlock it. Being a brewer, you can get advantage on conversations with people if you get booze involved in the discussion because people are generally more friendly when the suds are flowing.

    Tools were too focused, with the explanations in Xanathar's they have been opened up enough to be an appealing choice and by focusing on a tool you can differentiate your character more without feeling so hindered by not just choosing a skill.

    Some of the tools are fuckin boss.

    Cooks tools are freakin dope

    Like the bonus hit points aren't huge, but it's a flavorful bonus thats got good growth to it as you level.

    YAAAAS

    El Carcinero, my halfling rogue, lives!

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    I mean that's how it is likely to continue:

    Release UA content, listen to public response, do revisions, possibly repeat the UA release process, release in print. That's literally the design process for 5e outside adventure content.

    I'd expect there to be UA versions of most things they print.

    The randomization tables are content I really enjoy, and will likely use more than anything else in this book.

    I know it's the design process. It's a lazy design process, but even then I'd have a lot more respect for it if the initial content looked like it was developed by a group of professional game designers and then released to the public to be tweaked through playtesting, instead of looking like shitty amateur homebrew that needs significant rewrites from the customer base to be brought up to the professional standard that warrants asking them to purchase it for money. I'm not frustrated that the players are being invited to contribute to the design process, I'm frustrated that the players are clearly the ones doing the bulk of the heavy lifting on fixing halfassed class designs and correcting haphazard math while the people ostensibly paid to do those skill-intensive things assemble twenty pages of NPC names and write columns describing hopelessly convoluted alternate initiative systems instead.

    And if every piece of content is being released as a first draft and tested by the public, and they're not independently playtesting additional content internally, and the only new content they're actually writing is the couple pages of new subclasses or additional spells or DM advice they release once a month, then like...what the fuck do they do all day? It's mystifying.

    italianranma
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Give me more setting books with maybe a 5 level adventure tacked on the back of each one. Eberron, Dark Sun, SpellJammer and Sigil to name a few.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
    Moridin889italianranma
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    They are playing DnD all day :p

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
    Steam, Fortnite - NotoriusBEN
    Uplay, Arc Gigantic - notoriusben
  • HellboreHellbore There are no strings on me Registered User regular
    I've heard that the design team for 5e is pretty small compared to the work required. I wouldn't be surprised if the options were community testing or no testing.

    Sleep
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    They are playing DnD all day :p

    Poorly too, if their Out of the Abyss campaign is anything to go by. In house party and they roleplay paint themselves into a corner of party infighting, don't even get through the first quarter or so of the campaign. If they meant it as a commercial for the book, they had an opposite effect.

    steam_sig.png
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »

    And if every piece of content is being released as a first draft and tested by the public, and they're not independently playtesting additional content internally, and the only new content they're actually writing is the couple pages of new subclasses or additional spells or DM advice they release once a month, then like...what the fuck do they do all day? It's mystifying.

    They write and playtest adventures...and there really aren't that many of them.

    I mean. Assume they playtest their adventures in house and they're producing 3 to 4 adventures at a time. They're going to need to playtest each one of these roughly every week. That is 12 to 16 hours out of a 40 hour week just in playtesting per person. Give a 1 hour feedback session for each and you're at 15 to 20. You've eaten up half the work time for a 5 person team and you haven't even gotten to "actual work on the product". The 3-4 DM's in this scenario will spend rest of the time producing the adventures. Writing encounters, NPC's, ensuring that everything is lore appropriate etc. The other 1-2 people get to collate community responses, manage the PR structure etc.

    wbBv3fj.png
    Sleep
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    If they were spending that much time playtesting adventures they'd also be using it to test the UA player options, and if that were happening they'd be noticing things like 'hey, maybe advantage on all ranged attacks for the entire party for ten rounds as a bonus action on a 1 per short rest cooldown is too good for a level 2 class feature' before sending them to us.

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 13
    Abbalah wrote: »
    If they were spending that much time playtesting adventures they'd also be using it to test the UA player options, and if that were happening they'd be noticing things like 'hey, maybe advantage on all ranged attacks for the entire party for ten rounds as a bonus action on a 1 per short rest cooldown is too good for a level 2 class feature' before sending them to us.

    Maybe i just haven't had a chance to see it yet, but I'm not seeing that in xanathar's. Totally possible I've just not seen it yet.

    Sleep on
  • iguanacusiguanacus Desert PlanetRegistered User regular
    I think we're talking the Hawk Spirit from Circle of the Shepard Druid. In the UA it just flat out gave you and your allies advantage on ranged attacks done to targets inside the 60ft circle. That was pretty strong, which is why it's nothing like that in the actual printed version: same 60ft circle but it uses the druids reaction to give advantage to a single target on 1 (melee, ranged, spell) attack roll. Still powerful, but nowhere near what it was

    I dunno, I take you seriously on some topics and dick rider is your profession
    italianranmaSleepRainfall
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 13
    Maybe working in qa has just made me good at having really low expectations for the first test release of anything

    Mechanic like that reeks of, "shit i want this hawk spirit to make ranged attacks better, fuck it lets do advantage on ranged attacks into the aura."

    Thing is if you aren't then with an almost all range capable party you can't really capitalize. Its possible for that feature to go through an on the table playtest and not have that feature outright break the game.

    Like if that guy's with nothing but his own summons the hawk spirit is mostly useless.

    I think the print version is a good spot to land on that one.

    Sleep on
    MrVyngaardMoridin889
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 13
    I Like some of the options made available to the arcane trickster, shadow blade is particularly cool.

    Sleep on
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    edited November 13
    Sleep wrote: »
    Maybe working in qa has just made me good at having really low expectations for the first test release of anything

    Mechanic like that reeks of,

    Thing is if you aren't then with an almost all range capable party you can't really capitalize. Its possible for that feature to go through an on the table playtest and not have that feature outright break the game.

    Like if that guy's with nothing but his own summons the hawk spirit is mostly useless.

    I think the print version is a good spot to land on that one.

    Most characters in dnd are range capable, either because they have access to cantrips or just because your starting gear usually includes three or four weapons so there's rarely any reason for your fighter or rogue not to be carrying around a shortbow or javelin or throwing knives - and even if your melee attack is normally better, automatic advantage on your ranged attack is almost invariably going to make it the preferred option unless you're actively engaged.

    Even if it did only affect the druid because nobody else is making ranged attacks, 'spend a bonus action on turn one to get advantage on all of your attacks for the entire combat roughly once every other combat' is about as far from 'mostly useless' as you can possibly get - that's an insane class feature.

    It shouldn't even be possible for that feature to finish being typed without it being clear that it was off-curve, let alone go through editing, let alone go through actual table time. This is a game where comparable low-level class features include 'spend a bonus action to gain advantage on one attack if you pass a skill check' and 'spend a bonus action to heal for 1d10+con once per short rest' and 'cast a spell as a bonus action instead of an action once or twice per long rest'. The idea that 'spend a bonus action once per short rest to gain advantage on anywhere from 10 to 50 attacks depending on how many other ranged characters are in the party and how many attacks they can make per turn' does not match with the others is something that should have been realized by the author before writing it, and then should have been noticed immediately by whoever was proofing the article, and then absolutely would have been caught by any amount of playtesting at all.

    It does reek of "shit i want this hawk spirit to make ranged attacks better, fuck it lets do advantage on ranged attacks into the aura." - but specifically in the sense that the author wanted to improve ranged attacks and instead of making any effort at all at doing some game design immediately went 'fuck it' and wrote the first effect that popped into his head.

    And before we get too bogged down in this specific ability, this is far from the only piece of UA content with basic mistakes that should have been caught on even a cursory idiot-check pass. Samurai included 'bonus action to gain advantage on your attack' and then also included 'when you have advantage on your attack, you can forgo it to make two attacks instead...if you spend the bonus action you no longer have because you just spent it to get the advantage you needed for this ability'. Hexblade included 'you can make your melee attacks with CHA instead of STR, but only if you're using a one-handed weapon' and then a special invocation that said 'you can smite like a paladin, but only if you're a hexblade and only while using a two-handed weapon'. The first version of Favored Soul is in an article full of advice on designing class variants, which explicitly discusses the fact that the limited number of spells known a sorcerer gets is an important piece of class balance, and that giving them too many extra spells known is not recommended and will almost certainly create an overpowered class variant, before immediately presenting 'Favored Souls know twice as many spells as other sorcerers' as their first class feature - and those are just the particularly annoying ones I can remember off the top of my head. UA is full of things that a competent designer should never have written at all, and which ought to have been filtered out by the simple expedient of emailing the article to a coworker before publishing and going 'hey, can you take fifteen minutes to read through this and make sure there's nothing really stupid in it?'

    My QA experience (tabletop, rather than digital, in spite of the subsequent metaphor) has given me pretty low expectations, too, but these aren't buggy crash-prone first test releases given to your QA staff to un-fuck. These are half-finished internal docs that don't even compile, released to the public so your customers will finish writing the code.

    Abbalah on
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Maybe working in qa has just made me good at having really low expectations for the first test release of anything

    Mechanic like that reeks of,

    Thing is if you aren't then with an almost all range capable party you can't really capitalize. Its possible for that feature to go through an on the table playtest and not have that feature outright break the game.

    Like if that guy's with nothing but his own summons the hawk spirit is mostly useless.

    I think the print version is a good spot to land on that one.

    Most characters in dnd are range capable, either because they have access to cantrips or just because your starting gear usually includes three or four weapons so there's rarely any reason for your fighter or rogue not to be carrying around a shortbow or javelin or throwing knives - and even if your melee attack is normally better, automatic advantage on your ranged attack is almost invariably going to make it the preferred option unless you're actively engaged.

    It shouldn't even be possible for that feature to finish being typed without it being clear that it was off-curve, let alone go through editing, let alone go through actual table time. This is a game where comparable low-level class features include 'spend a bonus action to gain advantage on one attack if you pass a skill check' and 'spend a bonus action to heal for 1d10+con once per short rest' and 'cast a spell as a bonus action instead of an action once or twice per long rest'. The idea that 'spend a bonus action once per short rest to gain advantage on anywhere from 10 to 50 attacks depending on how many other ranged characters are in the party and how many attacks they can make per turn' does not match with the others is something that should have been realized by the author before writing it, and then should have been noticed immediately by whoever was proofing the article, and then absolutely would have been caught by any amount of playtesting at all.

    It does reek of "shit i want this hawk spirit to make ranged attacks better, fuck it lets do advantage on ranged attacks into the aura." - but specifically in the sense that the author wanted to improve ranged attacks and instead of making any effort at all at doing some game design immediately went 'fuck it' and wrote the first effect that popped into his head.

    And before we get too bogged down in this specific ability, this is far from the only piece of UA content with basic mistakes that should have been caught on even a cursory idiot-check pass. Samurai included 'bonus action to gain advantage on your attack' and then also included 'when you have advantage on your attack, you can forgo it to make two attacks instead...if you spend the bonus action you no longer have because you just spent it to get the advantage you needed for this ability'. Hexblade included 'you can make your melee attacks with CHA instead of STR, but only if you're using a one-handed weapon' and then a special invocation that said 'you can smite like a paladin, but only if you're a hexblade and only while using a two-handed weapon'. The first version of Favored Soul is in an article full of advice on designing class variants, which explicitly discusses the fact that the limited number of spells known a sorcerer gets is an important piece of class balance, and that giving them too many extra spells known is not recommended and will almost certainly create an overpowered class variant, before immediately presenting 'Favored Souls know twice as many spells as other sorcerers' as their first class feature - and those are just the particularly annoying ones I can remember off the top of my head. UA is full of things that a competent designer should never have written at all, and which ought to have been filtered out by the simple expedient of emailing the article to a coworker before publishing and going 'hey, can you take fifteen minutes to read through this and make sure there's nothing really stupid in it?'

    My QA experience (tabletop, rather than digital, in spite of the subsequent metaphor) has given me pretty low expectations, too, but these aren't buggy crash-prone first test releases given to your QA staff to un-fuck. These are half-finished internal docs that don't even compile, released to the public so your customers will finish writing the code.

    Mine is all digital, software qa, and yeah sometimes people hand stuff to QA that barely compiles and doesn't do the thing it was supposed to do at a basic level. Sometimes you get handed shit that immediately fails and you hand it back to the devs. I've had people hand me a build where they used an double instead of an int and it is immediately apparent as soon as you look at the program running. I've definitely had devs hand me broken builds for days trying to do simple shit. Its just how dev goes sometimes.

    Most of the errors you're listing out seem like either fairly simple oversights, or possibly even design decision made for specific reasons. It should also be noted, this dev team consistently puts out shit they think might be broken in order to make sure folks agree with them, both in how it is broken and how best to fix it. They did so throughout the play test.

    discrider
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Again, what QA staff get handed and what gets sent to the public are not and should not be of equal quality. Games have internal test builds separate from their public beta builds because you're supposed to do at least some basic testing and editing yourself before you give it to the public to polish.

    Those things are simple oversights. When you consistently make simple oversights on basic tasks over a long period of time, you are demonstrating inattention at best and incompetence at worst. These are errors that are only going to be consistently made by someone who either doesn't have the skills necessary to be a professional in their field, or simply isn't paying attention to their job, and who - in either case - has nobody doing any sort of due diligence to check or collaborate on their work.

    They're not design decisions. "Print a defining class feature and then print an upgraded ability that should interact with it but explicitly can't" is not a design decision, it is a design error. It's the sort of thing they put on the board on the first day of class as a simple example of what not to do. Designs like this should lead players to find fun interactions and synergies. There should be an internal logic to them, and when that logic is violated it is jarring and unpleasant. (Hey, look at this class: it's big trick is that it can get advantage whenever it wants, and then when you're higher level you ALSO get the ability to upgrade your advantage into straight-up two attacks instead of just two rolls on one attack! Oh but you...can't use those abilities together? You can only upgrade your advantage if you get it from something OTHER than your defining advantage-generating class feature? Huh.) It's worth noting that every example I gave was corrected as soon as literally any development scrutiny was applied to them - which is great, but should have happened before publishing them, the same way they presumably spellcheck these articles rather than publishing whatever and letting the players find the spelling errors - because they very much are not valid or intentional design decisions. They're just dumb obvious mistakes being constantly, repeatedly made through inattention or inability. Which brings it back around to my root complaint: Involving the players in playtesting is great, but do some of the fucking work yourself first. Public playtests should be for polish and balance tweaks after the design team has done the heavy lifting (or at least any lifting at all), not for elevator pitching a half-formed idea that hasn't even gotten a quick idiot check from the guy at the next desk first.

This discussion has been closed.