Author Topic: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)  (Read 5026 times)

Offline Eldritch_Lord

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2016, 07:18:08 PM »
Thanks for the detailed response.  I'll spoiler my response for space and TL;DR it below.

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You can't run the 5e fighter or any other 5e class through 3.5 and make your assumptions based on that.  You have to know how 5e's mechanics are different despite similarities in names.

Similarly, just because 5e classes are different from their 3e counterparts doesn't mean that they're better (either overall or individually), and just as you mentioned in the OP that there are 3e mechanics that appear in 5e but are not recognized as such, a lot of 5e stuff appeared in 3e but may not be recognized as having been such.  Almost all of your critique focused on how the 5e fighter is easier to play, better than its fellow 5e martial classes in various areas, or less equipment-dependent, all of which is true and all of which I agree with, but none of which backs up the initial claim that 5e classes are more powerful in their context than 3e classes are in theirs, certainly not to the extent that anyone needs to be too conservative in handing out magic items any more than in prior editions.

Maybe we just have very different ideas of what "powerful items" mean (you seem to be used to unusually-low-magic campaigns and are very worried about magic items screwing with balance, whereas I find even the artifacts in 5e are somewhat handy but not really anything to write home about), so I'm willing to agree to disagree on this point if you'd prefer not to have this discussion in this thread.

Offline sambojin

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2016, 09:25:00 PM »
In my view, almost all classes in 5th (with no multi-classing) "function better" than their 3rd edition equivalents. But "function better" in the system they play in doesn't mean "they're better", it just means they do "the thing they do" more easily and more usefully, straight out of the box, than their counterparts in other versions of the system.

Is a druid or wizard more ungodly powerful in 3rd than 5th, even without trying? Yes, easily. But that doesn't mean that they "function better", it's actually a huge flaw in 3rd's basic makeup. Druids and wizards function very well in 5th, in the game they're made for, without it always becoming a clusterfuck.

Does a fighter in 5th "function better" than they do in 3rd? Yes, easily, with or without magic items. They have a role to play, and they do their job rather well. They don't in 3rd, not without significant effort.

In any case, that's just my view. 5th contains a lot of 3rd, sometimes not obviously, but it misses out on a lot too. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what facet you're talking about. It's reasonably well rounded, but not nearly as comprehensive as 3rd yet. Trying to directly compare "thingoes you can get" is sort of pointless in version-wars. The versions are simply too different, and both are good.



It's like saying "Guidance" is directly comparable to "help" or a mastercraft tool bonus or skill points. It sort of is, but it really isn't, and concentration and all that. Magical Initiative isn't half a caster level, even though it sort of is early on, but it's not nearly as good as actual casting. It's not apples and oranges, but they're certainly different sorts of apples.



If you're comparing classes, archetypes, etc that "fit a role", then you're comparing a rather tasty apple to a fucken enormous tasty apple that's surrounded by other enormous apples. 3rd has way more stuff "to fit a role" than 5th, of that there's no doubt. But the base core classes/archetypes in 5th tend to do their job in the system pretty well, while many in 3rd simply don't. This doesn't make them "better", or even the system better, but it gives an indication that they're not "bad". Hell, even the core ranger and monk isn't terrible, they're just not very good.

Magic items are optional. That doesn't mean they don't exist, they're just not a core gameplay feature. Hand 'em out as you want, or magic-mart it if you like. It's up to you to worry about. The system works fine regardless, there's just no god-given right to a wealth level in 5th, and you'll probably have to control that far more if you let players have whatever they want. Armoured casters abound in this edition, but not all characters wear armour, so AC can become a big thing if you let it (bounded system and all, it can become a have/have-not problem for reasonable challenge levels in encounters). It's very DM and campaign dependant, with the core rules still able to make for a fun game regardless of them. You don't see too many item-builds, just character-builds because of this, simply because the poster usually doesn't know or give item availability information for their campaign. Otherwise we would. But magic-mart is the exception, not the rule, in 5th. Has a weird way of making the worlds created "more believable" too. Because if anyone could buy that stuff, they would, and the world would be doomed.


You can take heart that it was the OP characters, not the shopping list of mcguffins, that won through in 5th :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 10:43:06 PM by sambojin »

Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2016, 12:52:32 AM »
This thread is not for discussion of whether 3.5 or 5e versions of a class are better, and the discussion derailed off a conversation about items.  This thread is intended to help 3.5 players understand 5e, essentially.

My position has been and will remain: 5e classes were designed to be balanced against the system they play in with 0 assumed WBL, and as such a DM must be an arbiter of what magic items are allowed in his game in order to achieve the level of power he finds acceptable.  The classes are assumed to be able to handle situations in 5e that in previous editions required items, multiclassing, prestige classes, and/or feat chains.  "Better designed" in this case means they are more successful when forced to be self-reliant.

It's a strawman to say I'm concerned with any and all magic items.  I've pointed out the consquences of allowing certain combinations of magic items, because 5e assumes the DM controls what they players get.  It follows that the DM is then responsible for what happens to his game if the unforeseen consequences of item combinations limit what is actually challenging for his players.  I am in fact used to high-magic games, and I learned what happened in 5e when I applied my 3.5 mentality about magic items from first-hand experience.  I am not advocating low-magic in the slightest.  I am advocating that a DM pay attention to the consequences of inflating numbers on either side of the DM screen for the sake of fun, fast play while minimizing the number of challenges he mathematically removes from his repertoire.

The rest of your post I won't address because it's bait for edition warring.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 01:05:25 AM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2016, 03:09:03 PM »
I'm thinking about my last 3.5 game as a DM with an artificer player.  I let him have a lot of fun with everything he could figure out that an artificer could do, and I in turn scaled the encounters around how much he could craft and how he could use it
In your defense, the most broken items are in core (scrolls, wands, etc) so allowing those into the hand of an artificer does stretch the power level considerably. It sounds like you handled that well. It is true that DMing high-powered game is more work; you can't even pretend to de-optimized adventure pack enemies (alertness as a monster feat, really?) at a Tier 1 without expecting a stomp.

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This is a great idea from a 3.5 perspective.  Mechanically that's more sound than AC.
Table-top RPGs are great in that they show you how to run the game yourself, so everyone always knows what does what (if its well written). Often (closed-source) computer games just don't tell you how they work (dark souls is notorious for that). On the other hand, you have to calculate everything yourself. Calculators are on everyone's phone nowadays, though.

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Page 135 of the DMG gives recommended price ranges for magic items in an item-trading economy after going on about how nebulously difficult it is to create an uncommon or rarer magic item.  The section goes on to say that selling magic items is difficult because of the challenge of finding a buyer. :lmao
I get where they are coming from, but a bit of betting organization would have been better. Like a "hey, the 3 tiers of items are now fully separate so mundane items and magic items are not comparable similar to magic items and artifacts." I assume then, that magic items don't have a GP cost attached. This seems to hold up.

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Sorcerer 3/Wizard 10 has the spell slots of a 13th level single-classed full spellcaster
Okay so basically a free "Practiced Slotter" feat, so that you lose nothing by going Wizard 3 / Sorc 17 except trading the class features of Sorc 18-20 for the ones from Wizard 1-3. That does raise the RAW on rope trick abuse to ECL6 rather than 3, but that would go away with the ability to snatch a spell from another list. I do find some vindication that 5e has all casters full casters gaining their spells at the same rate (3e fixes, cough cough) rather than having some at +1 level. It's a shame non-fullcasters still have non-standard advancement rates.

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Do you consider the 5e warlock a full caster or not?
Yes, because they get 9ths. Speaking of which, are 5e 9th level spells still broken? Like shapechange, wish, astral projection, genesis, etc? In 3e, I came to the conclusion that they simply can't be allowed into upper PO without the game going accidentally into TO. Heck even (noncustom) epic spells had a higher balanced/broken ratio.

It bothers me that the 5e SRD titles all the class pages "Bard". It makes it hard to switch between tabs.

Why is there only one feat on the 5e SRD?

You have to know how 5e's mechanics are different despite similarities in names
This thread in a nutshell. I mentioned on EN world how 3.5 should have had a changelog. 5e would have done well with one too. And don't say that it would be "too much work." The text is already written. It only takes one read-through + copy/paste and a one sentence explanation per entry (so an hour of typing?) by someone who knows 3e (or 4e for that matter). Yes it might be shocking that I suggest a WotC employee knows D&D...

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Action Surge is the only way in 5e to get an extra action with no conditional modifiers attached to what it can do
Wait, so people build mulit-spell slingers (per round) out of fighters? I don't want to put words in your mouth in case you build fighters that do other important things with standard actions besides attack.

TJ it doesn't matter how rare the fighter abilities are in 5e when comparing to a 3e build. But we should also be clear that a 3e fighter needs to be run in a 5e game (so, using 5e rules) for a good comparison, it seems. A 5e fighter run in a 3e game ... doesn't seem to work. I'm really trying hard to avoid references to the special Olympics here  :D

I'm not suggesting that I can build it the best, but I would totally run a well-built 3e fighter in a 5e game (after some adjustments for my play style). Of course all 5e rules would apply so the 3e fighter would be built with the understanding that it couldn't use the feather wing graft, for instance (since 5e is assumed to be run without magic items). I have no clue if this would result in a tier-clash as eldritch lord suggests but as author of various definitive tier threads for 3e, I think I'd be qualified to get a feel for balance discrepancies.

Step 1) Get EL to build me a fighter/warblade/duskblade whatever
Step 2) Find an online DM running 5e who's willing to entertain a 3e build
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Profit!

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25% to 30% chance to pass a CR 24 red dragon's Frightful Presence is a lot more of a chance than I'd give a 3.5 fighter to make against a 3.5 CR 24 red dragon's DC 35 Frightful Presence using only the fighter's base features.
Correct. The assumption of naked, "generic" WBL & XP spending for iron will/+1worm magical locations, +5inh, +6enh (extract demonic essence) stats is very noticeable even without templates + LA buyoff. Thus the numbers in 3 are generally higher. I suspect the % to make the save is similar after carefully looking at (admittedly odd) ways of spending one's normal crafting resources into nake-only versions.

Does 5e even have templates? I see no lines about becoming a vampire or a werewolf or a ghost or anything else

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A Battle Master uses his maneuvers as part of his attack(s), not in place of a full attack action
3e could do this. They were called boosts, although attempting to nova by stacking everything at once was an optimization excersize.

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For all the complex things 3.5 maneuvers could do, the Battle Master can trump their utility with one maneuver.  A Battle Master with no more equipment than a non-magical bow and non-magical arrows can still knock a flying creature out of the sky.
I looked but didn't see how to do this. Which manuever is it? If it's not in the PHB, could you be so kind as to replicate the text?

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the 5e fighter is still better built for the system it's used in.
This true, objectively. A player shouldn't have to book dive to make a core class viable. That said, it is often a lot more similar to the wizard in that it has a far larger optimization ceiling that it appears.

Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2016, 03:30:28 PM »
Purposely double posting for clarity: Eldritch lord, I love the 5e maneuver comparisons. Iit seems you misunderstood TJ's ~WBL comparisons. For instance a starting level PC in 3e shouldn't be allowed to import paid-for permanency buffs into a 5e game, since that would be part of WBL. I feel like I'm in a good place on that now, but it took me a while. I'm still not sure about XP in 5e though. Can it be expended on things other than leveling?

even the core ranger and monk isn't terrible, they're just not very good.
Sigh. Some things never change.

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there's just no god-given right to a wealth level in 5th
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of property. 'Murica!

I saw a quote over on En World (saved from 339) that made a lot of sense. Please hold off those knee-jerk reactions until I can deconstruct it:

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You will be amazed at how few players really want to play in that gritty low fantasy, low magic, low power campaign you have drawn up. After all, isn't that just another way to make your PCs more fragile, giving you more control to stroke your fragile ego with? "
It was speaking of a poll of your players:
"3) High --- Mid --- Low           Magic (She picked Mid)
4) High --- Mid --- Low             Power (She picked High)
5) Dark --- Average --- Light     Tone and Mood"

And it's true. Lot's of DMs want to run 3 as low as possible, 4 as low as possible and 5 as high as possible. Even when it's still a G-rated campaign, this is still something that players might sniff a bit of player abuse in there. The reason why is simple: it's incredibly easy to DM. DM's have enough work to do and it makes them lazy when it comes to doing work that benefits others (their players).

How this relates to the WBL discussions is, I interally knew the above, although I hadn't seen it replicated so succinctly. See all the "magic marts are needed for my fighter but my DM wants us all to never have items/nice things" threads. When the opening poster replies that his DM says no to VoP for being too powerful, everyone calls the DM a noob, explains how weak VoP actually is compared to RAW 3e, and then suggests playing a druid to punish the bad DM.

And said DM has totally earned it, because he's basically saying "I want to punish/prevent you for trying anything I can't control." The extremes on the scale I mentioned above there are really just one way of doing that. But WBL isn't special and there are other ways of doing that: "No Psionics, Tomb of Battle is banned, flaws are OP" etc.

Maybe, for all their player hostility, WotC actually saw those things. It wasn't hard. They were everywhere. And obviously they wanted people to enjoy using their product / buy it more. So what could they do? They simply said "Fine, if we're going to have DMs that refuse to use WBL, let's just throw it out." And they did. They did it so well that their system works even with DMs who are scared a 2,000gp ioun stone would instantly break their fragile campaign setting.

So just because a DM likes the baseline (which happens to fit very well into a model players had been conditioned to be wary of) doesn't mean that the system is doing anything wrong. Good DMs like TJ show that the changes can be used for good. So great job WotC. You made the most out of a chronically bad situation.
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Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2016, 04:50:30 PM »
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are 5e 9th level spells still broken? Like shapechange, wish, astral projection, genesis, etc? In 3e, I came to the conclusion that they simply can't be allowed into upper PO without the game going accidentally into TO.

Genesis isn't in (yet).

Astral Projection: There's nothing in 5e you can really do with travel to the Astral Plane.  It's almost purely a roleplay ability.  The planes don't have specific traits that a PC can abuse, so the effects of planar travel are pretty much DM fiat.

Gate: Theoretically it's still ridiculous, but the DM override is built into RAW.

Shapechange: It's a bit less ridiculous but still very strong.  Duration is concentration up to 1 hour, and you'd have to multiclass Sorcerer 3 to get it to last any longer.  Additionally, all the forms you'd typically use from 3.5 that are also in 5e have far fewer abilities.  I hesitate to call it overpowered because I can think of several ways to screw it over with unaltered 5e monsters, but it is indeed very strong.

Time Stop: Totally acceptable in 5e.  There's so much less potential because of concentration and the long casting times on most summoning spells.  The rules of the spell and associated mechanics bring this one down to earth.

True Polymorph: Nebulously broken, akin to PAO.  I've emailed sage advice to ask what's supposed to happen when a player uses this on himself to permanently become a monster and then gains enough experience for a level, because the question is totally unanswered in the text.

Wish: It's extremely restrictive, but even using its base function to replicate 8th level or lower spells, there's a TO combo involving Simulacrum that devolves into infinite copies of the same wizard, with one of the copies missing a 7th and 9th level slot.

The rest of the 9th level spells are safe to allow.  Admittedly that's a small list remaining, but each 9th level caster has at least 1 worthwhile 9th level spell that's not game-destroying and doesn't involve bargaining with the DM.

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Why is there only one feat on the 5e SRD?

The 5e SRD isn't made from the core 3 books.  It's made from a selection of the core books that are available for use in 3rd party content.  Notice that most classes only have 1 archetype listed from the choices in the PHB as well.  It uses what's considered "basic" rules and not full core.  Grappler is the only feat allowed for 3rd party use.  IMO, they allowed one of the least useful yet broadly-appealing concepts in just to say 3rd party publishers are allowed to make feats.

Tangent:  Grappling is actually viable but that feat is completely unnecessary to make it so.  The second part of that feat is actually worse than what you can already do just by having the Extra Attack feature.  The first part is actually useful.

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Yes it might be shocking that I suggest a WotC employee knows D&D...
Mike Mearls is credited as a lead designer and it only takes a few minutes on his twitter feed to figure out he doesn't know what's in his own book.

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Wait, so people build mulit-spell slingers (per round) out of fighters?

Fighter 2 is the most popular dip in 5e from what I can tell, with warlock 2 and sorcerer 3 on its heels.  Due to the rules on bonus action spells, quicken can't do the job to the same effectiveness, though quicken is usable more often and has neat tricks of its own.  Concentration is the most important limit on what a caster with a fighter 2 dip can achieve.  This dip is talked about more than it's actually used because it's not optimal for a caster before the character has 9th level spells.  The trade off for one round with two spells per short rest means delaying access to your highest level spells by two levels.  It's probably the optimal choice for every caster past level 17, since the trade off is ultimately an additional 6th and 7th level slot, and Action Surge is comparable in power by that point.

It's not quite fair to make light of the base fighter for mostly using Action Surge to attack though.  HP damage is far and away the most common way to end an encounter.  The only save-or-die left is Quivering Palm.  There are a few tricks we've discussed in other threads with Polymorph and one of Disintegrate, Divine Word, and Power Word: Kill, but those revolve around a 6th, 7th, and 9th level spell.  A player couldn't solve every encounter in a typical adventuring day with those due to slot limitations.

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Does 5e even have templates? I see no lines about becoming a vampire or a werewolf or a ghost or anything else

The only templates I recall are dracolich, shadow dragon, half-dragon and spore servant.  None have rules for a player gaining them.  The transformation to a vampire or a werewolf is covered in their respective MM entries, with the rules explicitly stating your DM can decide to turn your PC into an NPC if the transformation occurs.

The revenant in the Gothic Heroes UA article is a take on a PC template as a subrace replacement.  It got mixed reviews but the idea isn't without merit.

I'll preface this by saying I'm not against templates in 5e.  They would be more work in 5e to apply.  After 2+ years of DMing 5e, I sort of see why 5e lacks templates on the DM's side.  If a DM wants to customize monsters, the CR is not determined by the parts used to customize the creature so much as its determined by the final resulting offense and defense the creature is capable of.  Templates introduced in a supplement would have to reference the DMG charts for a DM to determine the CR of the resulting creature unless the templates are so strict that the result of the template performs the same way every time.

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3e could do this. They were called boosts, although attempting to nova by stacking everything at once was an optimization excersize.

I encouraged melee players to always look at the Tome of Battle, so I'm aware.  I had a personal beef with a lot of the standard action maneuvers being worse than pouncing, and in practice it seemed like those boosts and the immediate action maneuvers were the most popular choices.  I was attempting to point out that the Battle Master doesn't make you choose between using all your attacks or using a standard action for any of its maneuvers.

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Which manuever is it? If it's not in the PHB, could you be so kind as to replicate the text?

Trip Attack knocks things prone when they fail a Strength saving throw.  It can be applied via ranged attacks.  The relevant text is not in the maneuver itself, but on page 191 under Flying Movement:
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Magic that would keep a creature aloft usually takes concentration, so Trip Attack has a shot to break the effect.  Only something that hovers, like a beholder, bypasses it.  Hovering creatures explicitly have (hover) next to their fly speeds.

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monk isn't terrible, they're just not very good.
Sigh. Some things never change.

5e monks are unfairly maligned by players who don't play past level 10.  It's a very backloaded class.  It's MAD, but on the other hand, the only high-priority feat for a monk is Mobility.  Pick an optimal race and/or use higher stats than 27 point buy, and it's quite powerful.  Monk is not a class to choose because of damage per round.  You play a monk because it darts around the battlefield controlling things.  The party monk is every weapon-user's best friend.  Stunning Strike and Unarmored Movement define their playstyle more than any other features they have.  In practical scenarios, monks are sort of like the 4e Warlock that was a single-target controller disguised as a striker.  When a party with a monk focuses on one target, it's going to die or lose all its legendary resistances in one turn unless it's proficient in Constitution saving throws.  Stun immunity isn't very common, and it's a potent condition for offense as well as defense.

Around level 14, they start to become very hard to impede or keep down.  Diamond Soul is one of the best defensive features for high-level play when the difference between proficient and non-proficient saving throws gets noticeable.  I'm convinced no one else who posts online has ever actually played or DMed for a level 18 monk that knows how to use Empty Body either.  Anything without alternative senses won't be doing much to a level 18 monk that knows how to use his features to their fullest.

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duskblade

The closest 5e class is paladin, not Eldritch Knight fighter.  5e paladins convert their spell slots into magical damage they deliver via their weapons.  Don't let the paladin's divine spellcasting throw off the comparison, since the oaths often grant spells from arcane lists.

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uses for exp

None so far.  Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford both admit experience points survived the edition change because they're a sacred cow they can't get away with killing.  The books present milestone leveling as an alternative and both admit to using that alternative for their own games.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 09:49:47 PM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2016, 05:07:52 PM »
That 1 srd Grappling feat also technically is an errata, having deleted the line that did nothing / or was worse than nothing.  (I didn't really care enough to pay attention to those details)


"Open the floodgates" ... would be a bad idea.

There's quite a bit of 4e style scaling covered up and built in ; especially in the SRD.
Cleric 8s + 9s.
Druid 7s + 9s.
Paladin 4s + 5s.
Ranger 4s + 5s.
Sorc 8s + 9s.
'Lock 4s + 5s , + 7s + 8s + 9s
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2016, 04:16:07 PM »
No thoughts on the gritty low-magic campaigns "giving the DM more control to stroke his fragile ego with" line? Having never run one of those, nor wanting to, was a eureka moment for me.

The rest of the 9th level spells are safe to allow.  Admittedly that's a small list remaining, but each 9th level caster has at least 1 worthwhile 9th level spell that's not game-destroying and doesn't involve bargaining with the DM.
That's good and clearly needed. Still, casting in 5e still feels like it threw the baby out with the bath water. Maybe that's because I built too many buffer-gishes in 3e.

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Tangent:  Grappling is actually viable but that feat is completely unnecessary to make it so.  The second part of that feat is actually worse than what you can already do just by having the Extra Attack feature.  The first part is actually useful.
I see trap options are still a thing.

@templates. The actual work required to make them used properly on monsters makes sense. I'm still sad about not being template up a crazy PC though, nor do I like the mother-may-I effect of the few psuedo templates they've put in so far.

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I had a personal beef with a lot of the standard action maneuvers being worse than pouncing, and in practice it seemed like those boosts and the immediate action maneuvers were the most popular choices.  I was attempting to point out that the Battle Master doesn't make you choose between using all your attacks or using a standard action for any of its maneuvers
Oh good. And you weren't the only one sad about barb1 ACF vs warblade 1! I'd point that out when people would demand crusader being a tier 2 class or whatever, and then get called a munkin.  :eh

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Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford both admit experience points survived the edition change because they're a sacred cow they can't get away with killing.  The books present milestone leveling as an alternative and both admit to using that alternative for their own games.
Hmmph. This could be a bad thing. The only time I'm okay with this is when it's a printed adventure that's run by the book (and we all know how those turn out), or when you're directly adapting another game. Perhaps sealed envelopes would work, but I'm wary of the mother may I effect on DM-created campaigns. And it only gets worse if XP/leveling is unevenly divided among PCs.

Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2017, 12:25:32 PM »
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That 1 srd Grappling feat also technically is an errata, having deleted the line that did nothing / or was worse than nothing.

It's the 2nd line on the post-errata version that's useless for a character with Extra Attack.  Pinning a creature and applying a condition to yourself is worse than using a shove for one attack to make the creature prone and then grappling with your second attack.  The grappled condition reduces movement speed to 0.  A creature has to spend half its movement to get up, and a creature with 0 movement speed cannot get up.  If you can shove and grapple in the same turn, why bother going for the feat's pin that takes an entire action AFTER you've grappled something and applies a negative to yourself in the process?

The two optimal grapplers I can think of are the barbarian/rogue combo (barbarian for Rage for advantage and Extra Attack, rogue for Expertise to Athletics and eventually Reliable Talent) and Strength bard (Enhance Ability for advantage, Expertise for Athletics, and either Cutting Words + Peerless Skill to further tilt the Athletics checks in your favor or Extra Attack depending on the college).  The Lore bard version in there doesn't get Extra Attack, but it could multiclass with a level or 2 into paladin to get shield proficiency, and Shield Master offers up a bonus action shove that works with using the Attack action to grapple.  It only takes one hand to grapple in 5e, so the Shield Master build could still hold the creature down and use something like Vicious Mockery on the poor thing.  Paladin 6/Lore bard 14 isn't an awful build either for the bardic grappler that wants to stab its victims with weapons instead of words.

The feat doesn't make you worse at your character's concept at least.  It's just not optimal for grappling, and the name "Grappler" is part of the trap.  If it was called something like "Close Quarters Combatant" and the focus was on the first feature (you have advantage to attack creatures you have grappled) players might realize the situational utility.  The shove+grapple tactic doesn't play well with ranged attackers in your party, so the feat is useful in a scenario with a grappling melee character in a party that gets all its other damage from ranged attacks.

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No thoughts on the gritty low-magic campaigns "giving the DM more control to stroke his fragile ego with" line? Having never run one of those, nor wanting to, was a eureka moment for me.

In 5e that's the no-magic-item campaign with all the encounters balanced for "hard" and "deadly" per the encounter experience table.  There's also the optional gritty realism variant for resting where a short rest takes 8 hours and a long rest takes a week.  I have seen the former by an unpopular DM whose group did not last long, but I have never seen the latter anywhere but online discussion.

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That's good and clearly needed. Still, casting in 5e still feels like it threw the baby out with the bath water. Maybe that's because I built too many buffer-gishes in 3e.

Considering cleric is my favorite 3.5 class, I understand where you're coming from.  Bard is my favorite 5e class because I've adapted to spellcasting constrained by concentration and I enjoy all the little things a bard does so well with other classes' spells.  Jack of All Trades, Cutting Words, and Peerless Skill make for some lopsided Dispel Magic/Counterspell interactions for example.  For similar reasons, a bard can use Bigby's Hand to greater effect than a wizard.

The change to concentration is part of what made the blaster viable in 5e.  It's a popular enough playstyle amongst non-optimizers that I think that was a good call, and blasting would have needed damage that obsoleted the mundanes to be viable if concentration did not limit buffers and controllers.

I've been to known to give out treasures that let a caster concentrate on a 2nd spell that fits a speciality.  (i.e. 2 spells for a cleric if 1 is of his domain, 2 spells for a wizard if 1 is of his school speciality, etc.)  I realize that's not useful advice for a player since they have no control over that.  Regardless of edition, looking at a constraint and homebrewing an item that bends the constraint a little is a good source of magic item ideas when done with a light touch.
 
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@templates. The actual work required to make them used properly on monsters makes sense. I'm still sad about not being template up a crazy PC though, nor do I like the mother-may-I effect of the few psuedo templates they've put in so far.

There's no LA rules to balance out really strong templates.  I only have a problem with templates on a roleplay level.  In a scenario when a DM permits lycanthropy without restraint, everyone dumps strength and happens to survive a scenario with a werebear to get a free boost to 19.  A vampire gets Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution all set to 18, but at least it has weaknesses that a character would have to overcome.  RAW doesn't suggest the ability scores revert if the lycanthropy/vampirism get cured.  If we wanted to find out RAI, Jeremy Crawford would answer on Twitter.

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Hmmph. This could be a bad thing. The only time I'm okay with this is when it's a printed adventure that's run by the book (and we all know how those turn out), or when you're directly adapting another game. Perhaps sealed envelopes would work, but I'm wary of the mother may I effect on DM-created campaigns. And it only gets worse if XP/leveling is unevenly divided among PCs.

I personally like milestone leveling because experience is not useful as a resource to track in 5e.  If it had functionality beyond determining level, I'd track it.  Your concerns did not occur to me because I have 2 fairly reliable groups, and we don't mind letting someone be at the same level as everyone else even if they miss a session here or there.

Milestone leveling works for experienced DMs.  But, you don't get experienced at DMing IMO until you have played awhile mostly by-the-book.  It's easy to look at some rules and say, "I don't like that, I want to change it," but I think it's worth gaining practical experience to figure out how and to what degree a change should be implemented.  I wouldn't want to be at the whims of a tyranical DM either, but that's not something I've had to personally experience.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 10:00:30 AM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2017, 08:51:02 PM »
werebear to get a free boost to 19.  A vampire gets Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution all set to 18
Ah yes, the old "let's not allow PCs to have ability scores of 26 or 31" problem that AD&D had. 3e threw that out and I think it was better for it unless you were epic or solidly into TO. Did 4e do that too? I blame that rather than the idea of a +2 stat bonus on a template. Setting stats to a set value is, of course, even worse.

Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2017, 11:04:50 PM »
That comes back to bounded accuracy.  Allowing ability scores above 20 breaks bounded accuracy just like +X items do, so they should not be assumed unless you're playing with a DM who is ok with accounting for that.  PCs can get scores up to 30 under their own control at level 20 via epic boons that replaced the idea of epic levels.  Few people will play that far, but those rules exist.  A caster boosting his casting score this way can push his DCs high enough that a lot of enemies won't pass on a natural 20.

The tomes/manuals that were used for inherent bonuses in 3.5 exist in 5e as items that grant +2 to an ability score and raise the player's cap on that ability score by 2.  5e does not have type bonuses, and the ability score becomes a part of the character rather than something tied to an attunement item, so a character could benefit from the same type of tome/manual multiple times.  If a DM wants to give those out, he can, and that theoretically removes the caps for players.  Award those liberally at your own risk.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 01:14:43 AM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2017, 05:01:52 PM »
14 as the lowest top stat, could get imported into 5e.
(I wouldn't be able to find the exact rule, off hand in my dusty old 3.0e phb.)

51% chance of 4d6drop1 getting a 16 or above,
but would be nearly risk-less with that low of 14 cap.
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Re: Discussion of 3.5 to 5e (and what's secretly already in 5e)
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2017, 02:01:45 AM »
For the 5e Tomes/Manuals, if you find you're in a 5e campaign using the optional Feywild time distortion rule and have access to interplanar travel (to/from the Feywild) and are an Elf or a high level Druid, stash your books somewhere incredibly secure and go to town... and then to the Feywild... and then back to town... repeatedly... :P
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