Thursday, August 7, 2014

An Eye on the 5th: Bloggers on Basic

I've been enjoying a lot of the posts that have been going up on blogs regarding the current rules release for D&D 5th Edition. At the time of this writing, only the Basic version is up on the WOTC site, but there a quite a lot of blog posts out there that are not just reviewing it, but also posting new material, conversions from older editions, and useful stuff to help run games while we wait for the standard trifecta of books for the game to come out (PHB, DMG, MM).

Here are a few of those posts and links that I've found useful or interesting:

They Got The Math Right by Robb Minneman (on RPGGeek)

A short but informative post about how the math works out for D&D Basic so far. It has a table that displays how calculations were done, and has some interesting observations / analysis about the results:

"First thing to note: Modifiers top out at +11. There's a cap on a PC's ability at 20. Proficiency bonuses do not extend past +6. That means you can't get more than a +11 to a roll, ever. That "nearly impossible" DC 30 check? They mean it. Heck, a "Very Hard" (DC 25) check can really only be attempted once a PC gets up into the level 6-8 range, and even then it's going to be a rare success.

But the math scales very nicely. The fact that bonuses scale gently means that characters get more capable, but the game designers don't have to go through the contortions that the 3e and 4e writers did to continue to make challenges hold up. This is more like the 1e and 2e thief skills: Your chances of success keep going up as your level increases.

That's good! It doesn't break the verisimilitude of your PC becoming more powerful. You can actually try harder things and your chances of succeeding go up. It provides a tangible success meter for characters."

5E Backgrounds by Courtney Campbell (on Hack & Slash)

With character backgrounds emerging as an interesting way to further customize your 1st level character, this series of posts is adding to the available backgrounds by offering up a few new ones. Currently available at the time of this writing are: Torturer, Gravedigger, Farmer, Prisoner.

5E Monsters by Surfarcher (Surf's D&D Blog)

Monsters are always welcome to DMs looking for some interesting opposition to their PCs. We should encourage Surfarcher to complete his 10-part series of D&D monsters as he does some analysis on them. Four of the planned posts are up; check them out!

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