Friday, August 10, 2012

DnD Next Playtesting

I am enjoying play testing the DnD Next material.  The characters are pregen-ed at this point and we are running through a great dungeon, The Caves of Chaos.

Pluses:
  • The fighting has been slimmed down and does not take very long.  This could be due to the the low level characters or the mechanics.  In 4e, we could have fights that lasted forever so this is a plus in our group.
  • The other mechanic we really, really like is Advantage and Disadvantage.  If I have an advantage in a round of combat, instead of getting +2 to whatever I roll, I get to roll 2d20 and keep the better roll.  For a disadvantage, I roll 2d20 and take the lower.  This is fantastic and really helps the characters not "waste a turn" on one bad roll.
  • All of the participants really like the idea of Background and Theme to personalize their character.  You don't have another fighter.  Instead, you have a vengeful former soldier fighter who adds game mechanics based on those ideas.
  • We have several players in our group who have never played anything except 4e.  They liked the pregenerated characters they could pick up and figure out without having to read a whole book.
Minuses:
  • Some people missed the complexity of the 4e system (not even knowing the heights of complexity in 3.5).  I am fairly sure this can be added in with the modular idea, or even as the characters attain higher levels.
  • Some missed minor actions, though as the DM I do not.  I never realized how much time was going into all those minor/marking/oh wait I forgot to add this damage 2 rounds ago.
  • I think everyone misses action pts, though the advantage/disadvantage system is easier for me as the DM
  • A HUGE gripe from the healer is that she has to give up her turn to heal someone.  She still wants to be in the fight and heal on the side.  Currently, that is not happening.
We played 4 weeks and then shifted over to Pathfinder.  We will probably playtest some more when more material comes out.

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