Friday, June 1, 2012

DnD Playtest 2

Digging Deep into the character's psyche
No doubt a big part of character creation is the background and personality of a character. Given the same build, no two players could play a character the same way. A rogue could be sneaky and sullen or charming and sarcastic. Even the background could make a difference in a game. The same rogue may be a noble scion or a street rat.

In this manner, many games have implemented mechanics in which background and personality would affect the game. It could be as minor as the Pathfinder Game where backgrounds and personality would mean a minor bonus in certain skills and feats. Or it could form a big part of the game like in Dresden Files in which backgrounds come in the form of aspects in which you could invoke to aid you in tasks or hinder you when the GM compels the aspects.

In playtest kit, these comes in the form of Background and Themes. This essentially acts like the traits in Pathfinder with a major difference. The background gives bonuses to skills while themes seems to give class features to the players as they level up. This meant that by selecting different class and theme, the powers that a player have is essentially different everytime. And I think this is what seems to be the customization theme that 5e seems to be pushing for.

Ability score reliance
For 3/3.5 e players, saving throws have essentially been more about the class than the ability score that complements it. As you level up, the bonuses given by the ability score modifier is less than what the class bonuses gives you. So a cleric with a low Constitution score of 10 could eventually outstrip a Wizard with a score of 20 in Constitution.

However, it seems that Wizards have focused more on ability score modifiers this time round. Gone are the BAB and skill points. Now, most of the rolls are ability score rolls.Want to hit a monster. Just roll you Strength Check with the relevant bonuses.Diplomacy checks? Just roll a d20 with the relevant skill modifier and Charisma. Even the saving throws are essentially ability score modifiers. No longer is there a Saving throw row like in DnD 3.5.

This meant that a more level playing ground between the different levels. A level 1 character may find it hard to hit a DC 25 while a level 20 character could do it in a blink of an eye. A level d20 wizard could wield a dagger more proficiently than a level 5 fighter. By doing this, the power difference between each level in mundane skills is reduced. Of course, this meant that the epic fantasy/ anime style that is inherent in high level play is gone.

For GM, the system is also a godsend. This meant that skill DC is now standardised and GM no longer have to worry about setting the correct DC for the player. But most importantly, for me, it allowed low level NPC to at least have a chance in either skill contest or letting players succumb to spells. For me, this meant that 5e is a more dangerous world and that is the style that suits me more for now.

I have left out mechanic like advantages and disadvantages but i think it has been well covered  by other RPG Bloggers.

Until Next time

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