Archive for December, 2014

It’s the game run by Piratecat, and runs through the heroic tier. The thread has input from Piratecat and his players.

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Lady in Forest

This is from the Monster Vault.

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So D&D 5th Edition is the greatest thing ever. I mean, EVARRR!!! People “finally” have “their” “Dungeons & Dragons” back. It’s “like a breath of fresh air” after having to endure “WoW on paper” (which we didn’t actually endure, since we never played it; but we heard).

I was using the basic rules to create a four character party: a dwarf fighter, halfling rogue, human cleric, and elf wizard. If I keep practicing, I could probably get pretty good at it, but do I really want to spend time on such a project?

D&D 4e (especially the Essentials line) made character creation elegant–even without using the Character Builder. You had your list of powers right there in the class description. If you wanted to play a cleric, for example, you had your choices laid out at each level.

5th edition, on the other hand, requires one to flip back and forth constantly, trying to get all the relevant information to put onto the character sheet. The spells are listed alphabetically in a separate section, and do not list cleric and wizard spells separately. It took me a few minutes to figure out that a first-level cleric or wizard can prepare a certain number of spells, but can only cast a maximum of two spells (not counting cantrips). Oh, and there are several cantrips that deal damage (this is surely a bone thrown to 4e players who like their At-Will attack spells).

I also didn’t think that the concept of saving throws and ability (skill) checks was adequately explained. Part of the problem is that the character creation section of the rules mentions choosing two skills, but one must flip back to another section to figure out what scores to put into the skills and saving throws. At first I thought that the character merely added his proficiency bonus to his class saving throws and chosen skills, but I looked at the premade character sheets, and saw that it was proficiency plus ability modifier.

Armor Class was another idea that could have used a bit more explanation. It is never stated what the armor class is of someone who is actually wearing no armor–such as a Wizard. I assumed that it was 10 + DEX modifier, but I was unable to find that stated in the rules. Perhaps the Player’s Handbook does mention it.

The most interesting part of character creation is actually the Background options. In the Basic Rules, you can choose among Acolyte, Criminal, Folk Hero, Sage, and Soldier. Each Background also includes four charts for generating the characters Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. Each Background gives the player an extra couple of skill proficiencies and other features.

So I filled out four character sheets by hand, but then tried to start over with one of the “fillable” PDF character sheets. I got the Dwarf Fighter finished, and then decided it was too annoying a process to continue on to the other three characters. Especially spells. Great snot, the magic system in 5e is annoying! Fiddly rules that involve figuring out your “DC” (How difficult your spells are to resist), then casting the spells (you “fill” your “spell slots” when you cast spells), deciding what level you want to cast the spell at (greater power, but you fill a higher level “slot”) then waiting for the DM to roll his die to see if the target was able to avoid being ensorcelled…needless, needless complication. 4e’s “Roll to hit Defense X” is superior in every way.

And speaking of Defenses; the AC is there, of course, but players must roll Ability-based saving throws if they are attacked by spells. That’s six abilities, so the 4e “Four Defenses” has now become Seven Defenses. It allows more flexibility, perhaps, but does it really add to the fun? I would have to play to find out for sure. I have watched the more recent “Acquisitions, Inc.” podcasts/videos, and there seem to be a lot of DEX saves, which several of the characters are unable to make. It may be funny (to watch), but I can’t imagine that it would be much fun.

Here’s the Dwarf Fighter, by the way:


Basic Rules for creating characters and for being a Dungeon Master can be accessed, free of charge, here.

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Elf Portrait


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Human Portrait


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Halfling Portrait


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Dwarf Portrait


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