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

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Posts

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.

    I agree as it was that you would just end up spending most of a session on a meaningless combat and ughh. I do really like how 5e is trying to constrain the numbers and the advantage mechanic is pretty nice. I'm also really excited for Xanthar's, I get my swashbuckler! woo!

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Like i want to see the full holy team 2 zealots, a pally, a cleric, a divine soul, and celestial warlock.

    Just them vs a horde of internals and undead

    If i manage to kill both barbarians, they both get raised, and we can do the marriage over I'm totally into it. Extra points if we do it mid field of combat like farscape.

    Sleep on
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    4E was fun, but I often found myself wishing it was a turn-based computer game where I was controlling all of the PCs.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    4E was fun, but I often found myself wishing it was a turn-based computer game where I was controlling all of the PCs.

    In a just world, we would have gotten a tactical 4e D&D computer game in the vein of XCOM or Fire Emblem.

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  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    too bad you couldn't license 4e from Wizards and kickstart a game. Give me an ebberon game setting, with the visuals cranked to 11 like in Thor: Ragnarok

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  • KadokenKadoken I'm an adult I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    I would actually play that. Not a big CRPG or turn based vidya guy except tactical stuff like Xenonauts, XCOM, Fire Emblem, and Jagged Alliance 2. I tolerate turn based stuff for tabletop because it's a gameplay concession in something you have a lot of freedom in.

    edit: also stuff people are described to do look rad in my head.

    Kadoken on
  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    As an, aside, a hexblade can use a 2h weapon by going pact of the blade..

    tip.. tip.. TALLY.. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    evilthecat wrote: »
    As an, aside, a hexblade can use a 2h weapon by going pact of the blade..

    Yup.

    You can totally gwf on a hex blade. Technically you could gwf pole arm master it.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.

    I agree as it was that you would just end up spending most of a session on a meaningless combat and ughh. I do really like how 5e is trying to constrain the numbers and the advantage mechanic is pretty nice. I'm also really excited for Xanthar's, I get my swashbuckler! woo!

    This is a set of variant rules I'd like to see for almost every edition of D&D: How to adjust day lengths to balance the various classes. 5e is a bit worse than 4e was for this but they both have the issue that a 2 fight day and a 6 fight day are going to cause entirely different things to shine which would be fine and normal if the 6 fight day wasn't much rarer because it takes fucking forever to resolve.
    webguy20 wrote: »
    too bad you couldn't license 4e from Wizards and kickstart a game. Give me an ebberon game setting, with the visuals cranked to 11 like in Thor: Ragnarok

    My understanding of the problem is they sold off the D&D "computer game" rights a long time ago. So that's sad.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.


    Isn't that always what 4e was about? Weren't all fights supposed to be set-pieces instead of random encounter style?

    Gloss over dungeon exploration and get to the next combat scene. Forget random & flavorful loot generation and tailor everything to your PC's empty body slots. Everything was aimed to moving the party from one planned out tactical combat to a skill challenge to another planned out tactical combat.

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  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Yeah, 4e was D&D: The Video Game: The Tabletop RPG, and it was great. Set pieces are what it's all about, be they interaction/exploration/combat. In my game, which is very similar, I only prepare 1 or maybe 2 encounters, but they get a lot of time in the oven as compared to "6d6 goblins" or what have you.

    Also, about the Ceremony thing: I feel like there are some real rules lawyer type gods that appreciate a good loophole, or tricksters that think it would be funny.

    SleepElvenshae
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.


    Isn't that always what 4e was about? Weren't all fights supposed to be set-pieces instead of random encounter style?

    Gloss over dungeon exploration and get to the next combat scene. Forget random & flavorful loot generation and tailor everything to your PC's empty body slots. Everything was aimed to moving the party from one planned out tactical combat to a skill challenge to another planned out tactical combat.

    I wouldn't use the term set-pieces so much as designed. 4e doesn't really encourage West Marches style "Well what was in this cave was Mega-Troll 9000 and you are all 1st level so of course you died" style of things.

    Also, the magic item system is usually the very first thing folks want to completely axe from 4e. It is just annoying in play. Burn it to the ground, slap on inherent bonus option and then give folks like one major character specific item a tier.

    MsAnthropyFryLanlaornAegeriElvenshae
  • TurambarTurambar Avocado at law Registered User regular
    Could use some opinions on a quicksand related problem my players have gotten into in Storm King's Thunder
    There's something called Gorgon Mud that follows the rules of Quicksand from the DMG, with the addition that it turns you to stone (Petrified) if you end your turn in it and fail a Con save

    One of my players was thrown into it during a boss fight, but the others didn't see it due to Darkvision range limitations

    So the fight is well over and the unlucky player is stone and has sunk to the bottom of the 40 foot deep mud by the time others figure out what has happened

    Now I think their plan is to take a long rest, then cast locate object on something he's carrying to find him, then use Bigby's Hand to pull him out

    A medium creature turned to stone weighs about 600 pounds according to the adventure, Bigby has a strength of 26, which times 30 is 780 pounds, so that's fine

    However, escaping from quicksand requires a strength check of 10 + the number of feet you're in, which is an impossible DC of 50 since he's sunk all the way down

    Would you let them slowly pull the stone fella out with a decently high strength check from Bigby, or would you force them to get creative?

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  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    If you really want them rolling for it, Bigby's Hand lasts for up to a minute. Maybe have them do multiple checks at 10 a piece? Personally I think the combination of spells you listed was already pretty creative.

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  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Turambar wrote: »
    Could use some opinions on a quicksand related problem my players have gotten into in Storm King's Thunder
    There's something called Gorgon Mud that follows the rules of Quicksand from the DMG, with the addition that it turns you to stone (Petrified) if you end your turn in it and fail a Con save

    One of my players was thrown into it during a boss fight, but the others didn't see it due to Darkvision range limitations

    So the fight is well over and the unlucky player is stone and has sunk to the bottom of the 40 foot deep mud by the time others figure out what has happened

    Now I think their plan is to take a long rest, then cast locate object on something he's carrying to find him, then use Bigby's Hand to pull him out

    A medium creature turned to stone weighs about 600 pounds according to the adventure, Bigby has a strength of 26, which times 30 is 780 pounds, so that's fine

    However, escaping from quicksand requires a strength check of 10 + the number of feet you're in, which is an impossible DC of 50 since he's sunk all the way down

    Would you let them slowly pull the stone fella out with a decently high strength check from Bigby, or would you force them to get creative?

    That particular check is for freeing yourself, is it not? That's not what's happening. Sounds like they're using Forceful Hand to push it, which should work without any checks because I wouldn't think a statue could participate in a Strength contest, even if it wanted to. It also doesn't need to worry about itself since it doesn't fill its space.

    Smrtnikdiscrider
  • TurambarTurambar Avocado at law Registered User regular
    Well the 600 pounds is what the statue weighs in itself

    Pulling it against quicksand would be much heavier

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Turambar wrote: »
    Well the 600 pounds is what the statue weighs in itself

    Pulling it against quicksand would be much heavier

    Realize that you're not talking about actual quicksand. People are generally not dense enough to actually sink to submersion in quicksand. Now this is D&D, so talking about the concept of stuff like movie quicksand is perfectly fine. In that sort of conceptual space the Bigby's hand thing is perfectly fine and I would pretty much nod and say "Yep."

    Elvenshae
  • TurambarTurambar Avocado at law Registered User regular
    Well yeah, real world quicksand has nothing to do with any of this, this is magical mud

    We'll see how they try to solve it, but it'll probably be fine

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  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    evilthecat wrote: »
    As an, aside, a hexblade can use a 2h weapon by going pact of the blade..

    Yup.

    You can totally gwf on a hex blade. Technically you could gwf pole arm master it.

    Yes. You can. Now. Because they released the version where you couldn't, and it was badly designed in a basic way, for reasons that were neither sensible nor defensible, and the players fixed it for them and then bought their own work back in xanathar's. Which is why I brought it up as an example of my complaint about the book.
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.


    Isn't that always what 4e was about? Weren't all fights supposed to be set-pieces instead of random encounter style?

    Gloss over dungeon exploration and get to the next combat scene. Forget random & flavorful loot generation and tailor everything to your PC's empty body slots. Everything was aimed to moving the party from one planned out tactical combat to a skill challenge to another planned out tactical combat.

    I mean...

    or you could just do both. I never really understood why complaints about 4e so regularly seem to boil down to 'the combat system is good, and as a result combats are very compelling, and so you're not allowed to do any of the other things that make DnD fun, ever, which is bad!'

    The noncombat mechanics are just as robust as they were in 3e or are in 5e. You lost nothing, and could do all the same noncombat things you can do now. Virtually all of the skills are the same, and work the same way! Just...do all the things you like in 5e, the way you like to do them, with basically the same mechanics, and then also, when you get into a combat, you can have a cool tactical fight instead of a repetitive slapfest.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    I never really understood why complaints about 4e so regularly seem to boil down to 'the combat system is good, and as a result combats are very compelling, and so you're not allowed to do any of the other things that make DnD fun, ever, which is bad!'

    The noncombat mechanics are just as robust as they were in 3e or are in 5e.

    This has always confused me.

    I think when people make the complaint it might be because they feel the more rigid nature of combat in 4e was taking away from the freeform nature of noncombat dungeons and dragons? Like, combats tend to devolve into swinging a sword and then passing your turn anyway, but at least there was no card which said "swing thy sword" that you would show when doing it?

    I'm not honestly sure. Enough people had the complaint that I'm convinced there's something to it, but I literally never heard anyone articulate it well enough that it made sense to me. 5e feels less modal than 4e did, even though it's still very modal. Maybe that increased sense of modality crosses a line somewhere.

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I think combat in 4th ed would have been helped HUGELY by using the concept of set piece battles. Yes have in depth tactical combat, but not ALL the time. It took all the random encounters shit and combats per day aesthetics from previous editions of D&D and crammed it into 4th ed and then turned up the volume. Only having a few defining battles per level would have really smoothed things out and given more room to do non-combat things.

    I agree as it was that you would just end up spending most of a session on a meaningless combat and ughh. I do really like how 5e is trying to constrain the numbers and the advantage mechanic is pretty nice. I'm also really excited for Xanthar's, I get my swashbuckler! woo!

    This is a set of variant rules I'd like to see for almost every edition of D&D: How to adjust day lengths to balance the various classes. 5e is a bit worse than 4e was for this but they both have the issue that a 2 fight day and a 6 fight day are going to cause entirely different things to shine which would be fine and normal if the 6 fight day wasn't much rarer because it takes fucking forever to resolve.
    webguy20 wrote: »
    too bad you couldn't license 4e from Wizards and kickstart a game. Give me an ebberon game setting, with the visuals cranked to 11 like in Thor: Ragnarok

    My understanding of the problem is they sold off the D&D "computer game" rights a long time ago. So that's sad.

    In 5e, so long as the story allows for it, continue throwing fights at the party till all their resources are as low as you want them to be for the day. Hit dice gone, casters depleted. Don't force that every day, but give em a bad day every now and again.

    Fnd you a good putty type monster that you know the party can generally ace but will likely use resources in the process. For my current campaign it is dretches and barlguras. For my last campaign it was nothics and gauths. Fights i knew my party could roll through in like 15-20 minutes, that would run down some health, healing, and spells. Its a great way to get some new ability show off after a level (we use milestones). Have a few of these types of groups in your back pocket to just fill out the resource attrition. You're doing a vampire castle themed adventure and the party is doing too well? Toss another group of vampire spawn, or a lycan at the party. Definitely don't map the whole castle from the beginning. If you have a set piece encounter in the castle design the room/rooms it's in and around but leave yourself wiggle room to throw extra fights into the mix. Extra bedrooms or moonlight drenched solariums. A trap door up to a widows walk at the top of a cool gothic tower where the party will be assaulted by varghoulis. Just attach some cool creepy thing to your castle that also happens to have an extra fight in it.

    In essence unlike in 4e where you design explicitly every detail of every encounter to hit certain quotas, which was pretty effective mind you, and hella fun to play when someone was good at the prep, 5e is essentially a storytelling resource attrition game between the players and DM.

    And don't be afraid to throw in non combat things that cost resources such as spells or damage. Throw in that weird glowing shrine, give them the chance to use arcana, but if they fail offer them a reroll on a closer inspection with detect magic running, boom drain a first level slot.

    5e encounter planning is pretty big on improv, but like improv with a skeleton. Don't plan every explicit encounter in a day leave yourself narrative wiggle room to throw extra non set piece combats in to drain resources.

    Like tonight, the party's first day (really the end of one of those long days so they're mostly tapped out) is a guaranteed winter wolf encounter (because these were referenced as a problem in the region a few games ago so it is time to fire the gun I hung on the wall three or four sessions ago). If they just totally rofl stomp the wolves anyways, I'm rolling on these handy dandy random encounter tables from xanathars with a few options traded out for barlgura and dretch. If i nearly kill them all with the wolves, they track the winter wolves back to their temporary den (a small cave) and crash there for the night. The second day is: a roll on the random encounter table (i just want to play with them and the party has enough resources), a number of succubi trying to charm party members and lead them astray 1 by 1 (as in the party will deal with each succubi individually, or later as a team if they all make their saves vs running off from the party and going in for the kiss), and then a horned devil either at full strength or depleted depending on how long the party takes to get to him (they don't even know they are headed towards him) and how wrecked they are on resources by the time they get there (there's an in game reason the horned devil would be missing his resistances). All of that by the way is secondary to the goal: get a piece of information from the private library/manor house this horned devil has, unbeknownst to the party, taken residence in. I'm running pretty much every encounter without minis. Maybe ill throw something together for the horned devil fight but it likely won't be necessary.

    Essentially I know generally what I want to do for the whole night, but I've got variable combats. Depending on how far I want to push the characters and depending on how far those characters push themselves.

    I can definitely see why this is harder for some people (I'm doing virtually no prep outside reading the MM and finding foes that would be thematically and mostly mechanically appropriate), but im way better at this than I am at the hard gruling and tuned planing of 4e.

    Moridin889
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    But you can do that in 4e, though.

    It's the same as what I was just talking about: You can make elaborate set pieces, and terrain effects, and carefully balance what you're putting into the encounter to make sure it's providing exactly the level of challenge you want, and the systems for doing those things are all much more robust and useful than their 5e equivalents

    but if you just want to grab some monsters from the monster manual and drop them into a room to give the players an extra fight to drain some healing surges, you can absolutely also do that, just like you can in 5e - the only difference is that you'll have a much better idea of how dangerous that encounter is because 4e's monster levels were a much more accurate measure of monster power than 5e's CR system.

    this isn't something 5e does better than 4e, it's just that in 5e doing it the improv way is often your only option because the systems for making a more involved tactical encounter aren't really supported.

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  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    But you can do that in 4e, though.

    It's the same as what I was just talking about: You can make elaborate set pieces, and terrain effects, and carefully balance what you're putting into the encounter to make sure it's providing exactly the level of challenge you want, and the systems for doing those things are all much more robust and useful than their 5e equivalents

    but if you just want to grab some monsters from the monster manual and drop them into a room to give the players an extra fight to drain some healing surges, you can absolutely also do that, just like you can in 5e - the only difference is that you'll have a much better idea of how dangerous that encounter is because 4e's monster levels were a much more accurate measure of monster power than 5e's CR system.

    this isn't something 5e does better than 4e, it's just that in 5e doing it the improv way is often your only option because the systems for making a more involved tactical encounter aren't really supported.

    Well, combat in 4e generally takes longer than combat in 5e, at least in my experience. So a simple resource drain encounter would eat up a more significant chunk of the night at my table than an encounter playing the same role in 5e. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but it was the case for every group I ever played 4e with (some much moreso than others though)

    italianranma
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Yea, that wasn't really what I was referring to with guidance on day length. 4e monsters are simple and the math behind them fits on a business card. That is really not the case in 5e.

    I was more talking about how to adjust the game if i wanted my average session to still be a "day" but to only have a single fight or two fights or whatever as my baseline. Daily/Long Rest abilities become more prevalent and more important if they show up every fight. Action Points are weirder and are basically another daily that folks will have for most fights. That sort of thing. In 5e with short rests not really being assumed it's way more of a source of variance.

    RendMsAnthropy
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Abbalah wrote: »
    But you can do that in 4e, though.

    It's the same as what I was just talking about: You can make elaborate set pieces, and terrain effects, and carefully balance what you're putting into the encounter to make sure it's providing exactly the level of challenge you want, and the systems for doing those things are all much more robust and useful than their 5e equivalents

    but if you just want to grab some monsters from the monster manual and drop them into a room to give the players an extra fight to drain some healing surges, you can absolutely also do that, just like you can in 5e - the only difference is that you'll have a much better idea of how dangerous that encounter is because 4e's monster levels were a much more accurate measure of monster power than 5e's CR system.

    this isn't something 5e does better than 4e, it's just that in 5e doing it the improv way is often your only option because the systems for making a more involved tactical encounter aren't really supported.

    Except that blank room combat to drain surges would also be a set piece encounter you have to break the grid out for (because otherwise controllers don't do shit) that either takes an hour to run, or doesn't cause the effect you're looking for (draining resources from the party). Spending an hour on an easy combat meant to drain surges is annoying and infuriating, hence everything becomes a set piece so you don't spend in an inordinate amount of time on a skeleton cleanup fight.

    When I throw a resource drain combat at the players in 5e I don't even break out the mat, I describe the setting, we get in our positions, I maybe throw a curveball to make it interesting and we cruise through the fight possibly not finishing a full initiative pass and eating like maybe 15 minutes of the session. Like the succubus I expect to be a 15 minute combat each time it comes up (every player does about 10 damage, and the combat is done). With a potential to drain a fair bit of healing from the party resources.

    You also couldn't just grab monsters from the manuals because the monsters were tiered. I couldn't throw the same putty like combats at level 5 and level 15, but in 5e you can, just adjust how many you throw at the party i threw nothics and gauths at a level 15 party all the time and it was quick, engaging and resource draining, and more importantly very much made it feel like the party was dealing with an army of aberrations. I did bigger set pieces for the aboleth, the morkoth, other large and legendary creatures, or just more important nothics fights in interesting or engaging locals, but I could still throw a quick swarm fight at them and roll on through.

    Like I grabbed the horned devil for tonight because it seems like the kind of devil that would make a warlock pact (introducing the new warlock is a feature of tonight's game) so he has a man servant that will fetch him things, and kill people/demons for him. Yet isn't like Pit Fiend strength. The party I'm sending againat it has a level 3 character in it (Oh also i can run split level parties because a level 1 character can ostensibly hit and damage a horned devil). The party should be able to take down his health before they all die, especially if they aren't dumb and force him to ground by going inside a nearby building, but it also has the potential to kill, or at least drop, a party member or two along the way.

    Sleep on
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Im not a fan of the resource eating combat, in any edition. If the sole point of the combat is to burn resources so the next combat is more dramatic, lets just have everyone have less resources to begin with so every combat is dramatic.

    This is also more in line with what I was talking about above when referencing set piece battles. I'm a believer in that combats should be a resource which drives the story forward, not just for the sake of combat itself. So less combats overall but the ones that are happening are much more important.

    In a 5e published adventure I'm a player in we had to go down this cave to recover a mcguffin and I swear we ran into 4 completely unrelated combats while we were down there. It felt like someone had rented out this cave to whatever bad guys they could find. It actually pulled me out of the game a bit. It completely felt like they were there to drain resources before the actual important battle.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Im not a fan of the resource eating combat, in any edition. If the sole point of the combat is to burn resources so the next combat is more dramatic, lets just have everyone have less resources to begin with so every combat is dramatic.

    This is also more in line with what I was talking about above when referencing set piece battles. I'm a believer in that combats should be a resource which drives the story forward, not just for the sake of combat itself. So less combats overall but the ones that are happening are much more important.

    In a 5e published adventure I'm a player in we had to go down this cave to recover a mcguffin and I swear we ran into 4 completely unrelated combats while we were down there. It felt like someone had rented out this cave to whatever bad guys they could find. It actually pulled me out of the game a bit. It completely felt like they were there to drain resources before the actual important battle.

    That like always the game though. Even the large set pieces are just there to drain resources along the way to the next combat. The game being, drain all party resources without killing them. Make sure all your combats fit the theme and make sense for what has been going on. Don't just throw random threads everywhere. However at the end of the day, any edition, the game is: drain party resources in a compelling manner.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    In 4E I would often use skill challenges for draining resources. The rules were really easy to adapt to lots of different things, like repeated battles with hordes of enemies, difficult investigations, social encounters, dangerous explorations, etc.

    I would also just make the important fights harder, rather than having more throwaway fights. With the encounter building rules it was really easy to do that.

    You can do skill challenges in 5E too. The basic concept has existed for as long as D&D has.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Oh yeah i still definitely use skill challenges that was easy as hell to transfer over.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Sleep wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Im not a fan of the resource eating combat, in any edition. If the sole point of the combat is to burn resources so the next combat is more dramatic, lets just have everyone have less resources to begin with so every combat is dramatic.

    This is also more in line with what I was talking about above when referencing set piece battles. I'm a believer in that combats should be a resource which drives the story forward, not just for the sake of combat itself. So less combats overall but the ones that are happening are much more important.

    In a 5e published adventure I'm a player in we had to go down this cave to recover a mcguffin and I swear we ran into 4 completely unrelated combats while we were down there. It felt like someone had rented out this cave to whatever bad guys they could find. It actually pulled me out of the game a bit. It completely felt like they were there to drain resources before the actual important battle.

    That like always the game though. Even the large set pieces are just there to drain resources along the way to the next combat. The game being, drain all party resources without killing them. Make sure all your combats fit the theme and make sense for what has been going on. Don't just throw random threads everywhere. However at the end of the day, any edition, the game is: drain party resources in a compelling manner.

    yes, and your last sentence is my point. Draining resources in a compelling manner. If the combat is solely about draining resources, its not compelling to me. If its not advancing the narrative somehow what's the point? Lets find another way to resolve those situations. If the point of the game is to reduce resources for the next battle perpetually then 4e was the pinnacle of that design. If we have to have in between battles to reduce our characters enough so the big battles dramatic and engaging lets rework the resource system so we don't have to have those time eating throw away battles.

    Also I apologize in advance for any weird spelling or grammar. I'm trying to phone post quickly.

    webguy20 on
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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    except then you have a different problem which is you literally can't do a game where the characters are working their way through an undead horde, or an invasion of goblins or orcs. You can't fight the whole camp of dozens of orcs to save the town they have been terrorizing. There can't be a horde it has to be a few set piece encounters comprised of about 10 to 15 guys total. You can't really do a: the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. You have to set up step by step wich of those guys they engage, when they do it, and where, and there certainly won't be 50 dudes there ever.

    It takes so much more prep than: "the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. Figure out the solutions here folks"

    Sleep on
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Also you don't have to press resources every day of the game. The party doesn't know it's a two fight day, if they are on their toes and playing intelligently they will conserve big hits for when they are actually necessary rather than just alpha striking everything with their biggest shit all the time. Unless they are a short rest recharger in which case they can be a bit more liberal with tossing shit out.

    Sleep on
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    except then you have a different problem which is you literally can't do a game where the characters are working their way through an undead horde, or an invasion of goblins or orcs. You can't fight the whole camp of dozens of orcs to save the town they have been terrorizing. There can't be a horde it has to be a few set piece encounters comprised of about 10 to 15 guys total. You can't really do a: the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. You have to set up step by step wich of those guys they engage, when they do it, and where, and there certainly won't be 50 dudes there ever.

    It takes so much more prep than: "the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. Figure out the solutions here folks"

    Ill respond to this tonight when I have access to a real keyboard and can better lay out my argument as it were.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    I'll be busy running game tonight but I'll check it tomorrow.

    Phone posting for the win.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    You could have, yes. You could have done anything in 4e. Just like in any other edition.

    But you were not "supposed" to do it that way in 4e. What you were "supposed" to do was meticulously craft two or three balls-out combats that were designed to use up a very specific amount of resources per session, and then fit your narrative around those battles.

    I liked 4e. And I cannot explain why I felt so constrained by 4e's ethos, but I did. I am experienced player & DM. I don't need rules to tell me how to make it work, I can muddle through.

    But for some reason, I felt hemmed in by 4e and feel much freer in 5e.

    Sleep
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    I'll be busy running game tonight but I'll check it tomorrow.

    Phone posting for the win.

    Haha right? I'm playing in my groups game as well. You're not my DM are you?

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    I'll be busy running game tonight but I'll check it tomorrow.

    Phone posting for the win.

    Haha right? I'm playing in my groups game as well. You're not my DM are you?

    I mean, you'll know if you run into some winter wolves right off the bat

    webguy20JustTee
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Rend wrote: »
    Abbalah wrote: »
    But you can do that in 4e, though.

    It's the same as what I was just talking about: You can make elaborate set pieces, and terrain effects, and carefully balance what you're putting into the encounter to make sure it's providing exactly the level of challenge you want, and the systems for doing those things are all much more robust and useful than their 5e equivalents

    but if you just want to grab some monsters from the monster manual and drop them into a room to give the players an extra fight to drain some healing surges, you can absolutely also do that, just like you can in 5e - the only difference is that you'll have a much better idea of how dangerous that encounter is because 4e's monster levels were a much more accurate measure of monster power than 5e's CR system.

    this isn't something 5e does better than 4e, it's just that in 5e doing it the improv way is often your only option because the systems for making a more involved tactical encounter aren't really supported.

    Well, combat in 4e generally takes longer than combat in 5e, at least in my experience. So a simple resource drain encounter would eat up a more significant chunk of the night at my table than an encounter playing the same role in 5e. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but it was the case for every group I ever played 4e with (some much moreso than others though)

    The snarky answer is that it takes longer for a player to take a turn when they have actual decisions to make.
    Sleep wrote: »
    Abbalah wrote: »
    But you can do that in 4e, though.

    It's the same as what I was just talking about: You can make elaborate set pieces, and terrain effects, and carefully balance what you're putting into the encounter to make sure it's providing exactly the level of challenge you want, and the systems for doing those things are all much more robust and useful than their 5e equivalents

    but if you just want to grab some monsters from the monster manual and drop them into a room to give the players an extra fight to drain some healing surges, you can absolutely also do that, just like you can in 5e - the only difference is that you'll have a much better idea of how dangerous that encounter is because 4e's monster levels were a much more accurate measure of monster power than 5e's CR system.

    this isn't something 5e does better than 4e, it's just that in 5e doing it the improv way is often your only option because the systems for making a more involved tactical encounter aren't really supported.

    Except that blank room combat to drain surges would also be a set piece encounter you have to break the grid out for (because otherwise controllers don't do shit) that either takes an hour to run, or doesn't cause the effect you're looking for (draining resources from the party). Spending an hour on an easy combat meant to drain surges is annoying and infuriating, hence everything becomes a set piece so you don't spend in an inordinate amount of time on a skeleton cleanup fight.

    When I throw a resource drain combat at the players in 5e I don't even break out the mat, I describe the setting, we get in our positions, I maybe throw a curveball to make it interesting and we cruise through the fight possibly not finishing a full initiative pass and eating like maybe 15 minutes of the session. Like the succubus I expect to be a 15 minute combat each time it comes up (every player does about 10 damage, and the combat is done). With a potential to drain a fair bit of healing from the party resources.

    Not breaking out the mat in 5e has similar impacts on a variety of player options designed around positioning and opportunity attacks, and if you're not even making it through a full round of initiative before the combat ends I'm not sure why you're even using a combat instead of a trap, which would have a more reliable effect (what if the succubus rolls low initiative and doesn't act before being killed? Not draining a lot of healing that way.) and be faster to process.

    Combat in 4e is slower than in 5e but it's not four times slower.
    You also couldn't just grab monsters from the manuals because the monsters were tiered. I couldn't throw the same putty like combats at level 5 and level 15, but in 5e you can, just adjust how many you throw at the party i threw nothics and gauths at a level 15 party all the time and it was quick, engaging and resource draining, and more importantly very much made it feel like the party was dealing with an army of aberrations. I did bigger sry pieces for the aboleth, the morkoth, and other large creatures, but i could still throw those junkers at them.

    Like I grabbed the horned devil for tonight because it seems like the kind of devil that would make a warlock pact (introducing the new warlock is a feature of tonight's game) so he has a man servant that will fetch him things, and kill people/demons for him. The party I'm sending againat it has a level 3 character in it (Oh also i can run split level parties because a level 1 character can ostensibly hit and damage a horned devil).

    The manuals were tiered, but A)since the monster math was transparent it was trivial to scale a monster up or down to the appropriate level if you wanted and B)they generally had tiered versions of the same monster anyway - sure, you couldn't use the same orc you were using at level 5 at level 15. Instead, you used the level 15 champion orc in the next entry.

    And if you want the feeling of dealing with an army, minions achieved that just fine and were obviously much faster to process and easier to manage in groups since they didn't have 'full' statblocks so there was no need to roll damage or track HP for them.

    And 4e could manage split-level parties nearly as well as 5e - AC scales more slowly so a low level character has an easier time hitting a high level threat, but HP scales much faster. You could run +/- 2 or 3 levels in 4e with minimal impact (Missing out on a +1 to attacks and defenses, the horror!), and you can't do much more than that in 5e without handholding the low-level character because he will be liquified when attacked due to having half the HP of the other characters in a system with less-robust tanking options. (That level 3 character will have 12-30 HP. That horned devil, if you're just grabbing it straight out of the manual, makes three attacks per turn and each one deals an average of 15 damage. The devil will also resist his spells more than 90% of the time - +7 to dex and wis saves, plus magic resistance, against a characters whose spell save DC will max out at 13 - and he will miss it with attacks 2/3rds of the time - 18 AC, when a level 3 character is only going to have +5 to attacks - and when he does hit it will probably only deal half a damage because of its resistance to nonmagical damage. Clearly, he's going to contribute meaningfully to that fight.) Not that there's usually much reason to run a mixed-level party in the first place, so fitness for that activity doesn't generally mean a whole lot.

    Edit:
    Sleep wrote: »
    except then you have a different problem which is you literally can't do a game where the characters are working their way through an undead horde, or an invasion of goblins or orcs. You can't fight the whole camp of dozens of orcs to save the town they have been terrorizing. There can't be a horde it has to be a few set piece encounters comprised of about 10 to 15 guys total. You can't really do a: the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. You have to set up step by step wich of those guys they engage, when they do it, and where, and there certainly won't be 50 dudes there ever.

    It takes so much more prep than: "the camp has about 50 orcs a few orog, a war chief, a blade of illenval and a claw of luthic. Figure out the solutions here folks"

    There will be 50 dudes there all the time if you want them, 4e had an entire enemy classificiation - minions - designed specifically to enable that sort of fight, and did so much more effectively than 5e's bounded accuracy method because there was less information to track.

    It takes exactly as much prep as saying 'there are 50 shitty orcs, a few good ones, and a couple special leader monsters'.

    Abbalah on
    RiemannLives
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