Sunday, July 27, 2014

On nerfing the archmage, limiting the turning of undead, and making wands and staffs more like we'd expect them to be

There are three topics that I want to discuss here, all of varying relevance to my next D&D campaign, which I expect to remain a very low-level game.  (1) Limiting D&D's high-level game-breaking magic in a way that doesn't short-change the high-level mage. (2) Limiting a cleric's ability to turn undead, so that you can have undead attack a party with a cleric and not just have them blasted out of existence right away. (3) Making wands and staffs into something other than charged spell-batteries or "super-scrolls".

Thursday, July 3, 2014

On Treasure and Experience

My 2nd edition campaign is winding down.  You'd think, with today's release of 5th edition, I'd be all stoked to try it out.  I really do like a lot of what I see in 5th edition, and it certainly looks more like D&D than anything WotC's ever put out before.  But the truth is, I've been away from Classic D&D for so long now that I'm starting to feel nostalgic for it.  My players have spent the last several months adventuring in a world, zipping over sweeping post-apocalyptic vistas in an ion-propelled airship. I miss the dungeon.

And Classic D&D does the dungeon so much better than any other edition can.  5th is pretty slick, and I love how it subtly incorporates things like "ideals" and "bonds" and other character personality traits or connections into the rules (I'll probably just go ahead and filch that idea for OD&D games), but it's still a pretty weighty game, mechanically.  I will say this, though: the way 5th edition handles skills has inspired me to do something similar in that area, which I'll explain in a moment.