Category Archives: Tabletop

On Terrible Ideas

D&D had always been fairly good at allowing this, but the new edition does seem to have a lot of potential for amusing bad ideas. The new edition is no different, and maybe even better. A lot of these were in playtests or teasers, so I hope there’s no problem with me posting them here.

My personal favorite by far I mentioned yesterday, the Wild Magic Sorcerer. I’m not the biggest fan of tables for loot, but this table for wild magic effects is awesome My personal favorites are “07-08 You cast fireball as a 3rd level spell centered on yourself” and “53-54 You are immune to being intoxicated by alcohol for the next 5d6 days”.

Also worth of mention is the overchannel feature for Wizards specializing in Evocation that reads as follows:

…When you cast a wizard spell of 5th level or lower that deals damage, you can deal maximum damage with that spell. The first time you do so, you suffer no adverse effect. If you use this feature again before you finish a long rest, you take 2d12 necrotic damage for each level of the spell, immediately after you cast it. Each time you use this feature again before finishing a long rest, the necrotic damage per spell level increases by 1d12. This damage ignores resistance and immunity.

This is the only printed way of accessing the maximize spell effect. I know at least one player who would abuse this, mostly to their detriment.

An Honorable mention goes to the Warlock class, for being entirely based on a questionable idea. I feel like this class is just asking for your DM to inflict you (and your party) with a variety of unfortunate encounters courtesy of (or tangentially related to) your choice of patron.

For more posts about… everything, check out the Blaugust Initiative. I’m a slacker and don’t have another post to highlight for today.

On D&D Next

For those who have not heard, the Player’s Manual for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons released yesterday. I don’t know what the official term for this edition is, but since they’re no longer calling it D&D Next I’m just going to call it 5e. I played a bit with the playtest packets that were out near the end of last year, but there were some balance issues there. I look forward to giving the full rule set a bit of a workout.

Something Old

5e is a return to the ways before 4e in most cases. There’s a mostly familiar set of classes (Warlock is the only class that wasn’t in the 3.5 Player’s Handbook), although there are some changes I’ll mention later. Gone are the encounter/daily/at-will powers from 4e, returned are the concepts of spell slots and spell levels (although these don’t work exactly like they used to either). Also gone are fort/ref/will defenses, but the saves that they were replacing are a bit different now. It’s a return of familiar things, without just being 3.5++, like Pathfinder.

Something New

A completely new concept (for D&D anyway) is the advantage/disadvantage system, where you can roll 2 d20s and take the higher or lower of the two depending on which one you have. Things like Sneak Attacks and various bonuses and penalties were reworked to use this system. The action system is also changed up a bit, in that (generally speaking) players get to take an action and a bonus action per turn, with movement being separated from that system. (This means that you can do things like move in between attacks if you have more than one, or move, attack, and move again, etc.) Advancement is also a bit different, since feats are semi-removed from the normal level progression.

Something Borrowed

A concept from 4e that did stick around is the concept of class variants. Most classes get to make a decision at level 3 that affects the rest of their progression; A few classes (like Clerics) make this decision before then. There’s a lot of variation locked in these, including an option for the Fighter that adds spellcasting progression, a Druid option that makes wildshape far more powerful, and this Sorcerer option which looks like a terrible (but awesome) idea.

Something Blue

I’m a bit sad about the staggered release of the books, since the player’s handbook doesn’t contain much about magical items (probably in the Dungeon Master’s Guide) and had only a tiny list of creatures (which is unfortunate for both Druids and DMs). I like what’s there, and I especially like the variety of class options available, but I just with there was a bit more.

For more posts about… everything, check out the Blaugust Initiative. For an interesting look at what solving an ARG is like, check out Kodra’s post about The Secret World launch ARG.