Unearthed Arcana, 5e Playtest Material, and Min-Maxing

I have to say that while I enjoy reading the various material that come through Unearthed Arcana, and even approve of most of them – reading people utterly flip out on EnWorld about them is probably more enjoyable. It’s a collection of folks freaking out as they come up with every possible Min-Maxed way that something could be or should be broken, complaints about the flavor text, and just general Internet fan-boy hysteria.

The latest one, with the Hexblade Patron, the Raven Queen Patron, the extra Eldritch Boons, and the then Lore Master Arcane Tradition for Wizards has people’s heads exploding. Personally I don’t find any of them particularly bad and kind of like them, I can certainly see some of the complaints – but when you grew up with quadratic magic-users I’m not exactly intimidated by these.

Part of the issue is the idea of level-dipping, an annoying metagamey artifact of 3E D&D. This is a problem only if the DM is dumb enough (or inexperienced enough) to allow it unchecked. Those of us raised and nourished in the halcyon days of 1E pretty much view any ability to “switch classes” after character creation to be a gift from the gods (aka the DM, often via an actual act of deity). As such, at least in my campaign, it’s should never be viewed as a given (or a “right”) it should be viewed as illustration of character development.

Case in point, if your Fighter character really starts thinking like a Paladin and you wanted to “multiclass” I’d be much more tempted to simply switch the character’s class than have a “Fighter/Paladin” – same thing with Cleric in many cases.  If your Cleric wants to train as a Monk… well, yeah, that takes awhile and you’re probably going to have a Cleric/Monk…

Also, in my campaign, multi-classing is generally going to result in a significant investment of time on the part of the character (months, not days or weeks) – which means that they are going to lag behind in level if the rest of the party has continued adventuring. Let be serious, 5e characters are already amazing overpowered compared to 1E and 2E (and, by accounts, to 3E & 4E as well), multi-classing makes them even more powerful – so yes, I’m going to make players work for it a bit.

Which, as anyone who knows me, doesn’t mean that I particularly care about powerful PC’s – I love players having powerful PC’s and I have yet to meet one that I can’t kill or otherwise deal with if I really wanted to. I threw out CR awhile ago as broken and most creatures in my games are not Monster Manual standard – another artifact of a long-running campaign world. In fact the majority of the “problems” in my current campaign has been from one of two sources, hewing to closely to some of the 5e assumptions regarding game balance, and trying to hard to follow the actual adventure path for the Age of Worms.

I should probably update my page for House Rules to address all of the various articles as to which are allowed and which aren’t.

TTFN!

D.

Advertisements
Categories: Game Design, House Rules, Review | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: