Friday, July 4, 2014

Raised from the dead

Wow, it has taken me a whole 24 hours of having the new D&D Starter Set, the new Fifth Edition, to write a post. What kind of a blogger am I?

In fact, I'm still reading it. I'm alternating between reading the Starter Set Rulebook and the freely-available Basic Rules, as well as the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure... I just can't discipline myself to read everything through once, instead of skipping back and forth.

If I may, even before discussing how the rules ended up, I'd like to talk about that favourite topic of mine, the math in the game, specifically the monsters.

Back in the playtest days, I had found a few irregularities, which pretty much put a stop to writing early software for tools and such (like the up-and-coming Morningstar). Unable to resist, I looked at the sum of all the monsters available to us, being the list of 27 entries in the back of the adventure.

I'm glad to say that the math is looking a little more consistent. I know during the playtest days, there were some blogposts from WotC about how much they could or couldn't remain true to a fully "computable" system; how sometimes there are exceptions needed to make a creature easier or harder that just require you to break from a formula. But so far, the Armor Class calculations seem correct, although Natural armor allows you to fudge numbers upwards any time you like), and the Hit Dice and Hit Point calculations are all consistent (which was something that stood out during playtesting as irregular).

The attacks, however, might not be so straightforward. At first glance, some weapons are doing different damage than listed (morningstar doing 2d8 instead of 1d8) and to-hits might be using proficiency bonuses that need to be figured out; and natural weapons seem to be all over the map, with varying ranges of damage (though this could be tied to creature type, size, or both). And I've yet to compare the Challenge rating on the monsters to see if there's a sense of their number of Hit Dice, size, type and abilities being related.

Ultimately, I'm looking to dissect the monsters down to Monster Classes, as that was one of my favorite parts of 3.5; perhaps I can drive the creation of a community ruleset for such a thing.

It looks like we're going to give 5e a try tomorrow night, so it's back to reading for me.

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