So the good folks over at Wizards of the Coast released another playtest for D&D Next. You can sign up and download it here. I love the direction they are going with this edition in general. I suppose I will add some key points here and make some notes about likes and dislikes:
- Ranger doesn't have a weapon style. Now to me that has irked me. Every ranger was stuck between two weapon fighting and archery for the longest time. What if I don't want that? I am digging the fact they get spells in this edition too. Just a few little magical effects to toss around. Both he and the paladin get cool things to cast, but are primarily just mundane guys.
- Speaking of the paladin- now here we have a cool way to build a necromancer. I wish they hadn't dropped that specialty after the second playtest. He was kinda of neat twist, but I think the paladin is solid. Can definitely back up heal which is a groovy thing. But then again every one except the wizard currently has Cure Wounds as a level one spell.
- Did I mention the druid? Odd that one of the cantrips isn't anywhere in the spell list, but that is the nature of things. I was bitching at firs the doo-dad lacked offense power at all until I realized Gust of Wind and Entangle both hammer your target. The druid honestly has shit for damaging cantrips. But then again that is why we all want to be high elves right.
- Speaking of cantrips the fact that all of them went to make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid damage is annoying to me. Maybe the fighter should play like that. I would much rather roll to hit instead of forcing a saving throw, but the wizard has so much cool shit he can do I can't complain. Did I mention Gust of Wind totally rocks.
- The wizard gaining the ability to recover a spell during a short rest is pretty neat. I think they increased the damage or number of shots in magic missile. I know Scorching Ray changed. I really want to get a game in past one session to try some of this out. He is still in the realm of it doesn't matter if he is proficient with weapons. He can tote around a greatsword and just use his stregth modifier to hit and damage. Wonder if people noticed that attack bonus for other classes is the benefit you recieve when you are proficient, but it doesn't matter so much with the flatter math.
- I have been a little confused by the attack bonus/spell casting bonus scaling. They are sometimes just pointless. It really reminds me of earlier editions where decisions were made almost without reason. You have one favorable progression for attack bonus and a lot of classes follow that. The thing that has me perplexed is spellcasting bonus for the cleric being faster/better than the wizard. I just don't have that evened out in my head. But then again the Rogue hits really poorly in this edition.
- I guess we assume because he will usually gain some kind of advantage, but still. Just little numbers in all. I made a rogue with a pair of hand axes and chain today just for fun. So much twisting and modeling you can do with this set. The fact that you really have to go out of your way to build a thief with all of the thieving skills is kind of cool. I will miss the martial weapons and shields on the assassin rogue scheme. But some of them were running away.
- Still love the barbarian and the monk. Don't think I really did anything but graze the cleric at this point, but they were really solid. I am glad the fighter got trimmed back a bit. He still has awesome stuff he can do. I love that he is a leader character now. He has some abilities that grant his allies bonuses.
I could really see building Strom as a fighter with Sage background. Maybe I will work on that for my next post. Eventually they will push forward with a bard class. I have my fingers crossed it won't be entirely focused on some singing nit. We have a minstrel background if you want to sing. No, I want someone who is more martially inclined. I was an old school bard originally it was a blend of fighter/rogue/druid. Everything that has came since is just annoying.