Monday, August 13, 2012

D&D Next Playtest Round 2

I have the next round of the DDN playtest in hand (well, in the Nook) and am reading through it. I'm more reserved in my comments and opinions for the moment, but a few observations...

1. They've got the promised character generation rules. This is good; it's helping to forge a decent picture of how the game works. The backgrounds have been revamped a bit, too....and there's a proper skill list.

2. Fighters have exploding expertise dice that regenerate each round. That can use these to empower various maneuvers. This is some pretty progressive of DCC might notice some vague similarities, but this is the first mechanic I've seen for DDN so far that is otherwise very distinct to the new edition.....but fighters already look much more interesting here than the sample fighter from playtest one was.

3. That necromancer theme (well, specialty) is pretty cool. The revamp to specialties makes a bit more sense. Sort of like the archetype concept in Pathfinder now, but with directed/thematic feats tied to them.

4. Monsters seem to have gotten a bit of a makeover at a cursory glance, and they appear to have annihlated the flavor text, interestingly. I presume they figure that leaving flavor text in was only confusing people? No idea.

5. Hit points got massively scaled back. The 4E fans who are decrying the retro elements of DDN will be angry.

6. Hit dice and the hit die heal mechanic remain, but they now provide four options for how to manage hit die and hit point recovery....the standard option is fastest, but three other choices lead to different ways the two resourced are recovered and managed, with the slowest leading to a case where a long rest recovers no HP, but only 1+Con Mod HD which you can then spend to recover some HPs. This is the first obvious case of "multiple option rules" to suit to taste. I like the way they are doing this so far.

There are more changes....but I shall report on them as they show up. This document is looking a lot more robust, now. I think I'll have to spring a new playtest on everyone this week.

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