Saturday, 30 August 2014

Yowzah! It's New! It's Shiny!


I now own my very own copy of the 5e PHB. I am more excited by this than may be properly appropriate for a Gentleman Of A Certain Age.

I have to say, even on a very brief acquaintance, I can see that it contains a hell of a lot of fluff that I would have ruthlessly edited out, had it been up to me. But it wasn't.... those FOOLS!

It's got lots of good, useful stuff in it too, so that's all right.

I see a few areas where I want to make some changes, though they're pretty minor really.

  1. I'll be changing the time scale for ritual spell casting. The rules as written say a ritual spell takes ten minutes longer than normal to cast, but my view of rituals is that they're the sort of things that take a lot longer than that — hours, possibly days.
  2. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think I may equate one feat with one point of characteristic increase, with the rider that the character can take no more than one feat at a time. So, when the character gets a chance to increase a stat, they can either take two points of increase, or take one feat and one point on a stat. I do like the feats as presented — I like them much, much better than the system used in D&D3.x
  3. I think I may institute STR reductions for halflings, gnomes and elves. The idea of a three foot tall hobbit with a strength of 18 just offends me. I know that this is not a game of realism, but tough.
Done — from now on, elves will get -1 STR, gnomes get -2 STR, and halflings get -3 STR. That still means a halfling could conceivably start with 15 strength and thus be stronger than a burly six-foot human blacksmith, but c'est la vie. The alternative to that is to also institute STR Maxima, which I am loath to do.

I've started playing around with the character creation rules, recreating my favourite old character, Prince Fnord the Pretty Neat and Well Beloved at 13th level. It gratified me to see how compact his basic character description could be in 5e at this relatively high level; the great bulk of his character sheet would be taken up with equipment and magical doo-dads. The hardest part about the conversion was thinking about just how to define his personality traits along the lines of the samples given. However, considering how long Fnord's been around, I don't really think it's really all that necessary; his character has long been established, so I don't really need any set written guide as to how to roleplay his reactions.