Archive for November 16th, 2017

Likes, Dislikes, and Craziness

So, my son Christopher is going to, for the first time, take the reins as DM for our twice-monthly Saturday game. He wants to run 5E. If he’d have said this a few months ago, I’d have probably balked, but entirely out of ignorance and a general distate for trying new things that aren’t edible or alcoholic.

In more recent months, however, I’ve had a chance to play 5E, first in Austin at Tribe Comics & Games. (More about this here.) My assessment of 5E after that one game was, “It’s not going to make me rush out and buy 5E books or find a local 5E game to play in. Not really my cup of tea any more.” True to my word, I did not rush out buy any 5E books. I did buy the Player’s Handbook shortly before my second foray into 5E.

Since then, I’ve played 5E a bit more, most recently at the Lone Star Game Expo up near Dallas. My appreciation for 5E has grown. I’m still not really sold on the organized play aspect of 5E, largely for the same reasons that I stopped bothering with Living City and RPGA before they both went belly up. Perhaps I’ll write about those reasons later.

As I just said, my appreciation for 5E has grown, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things that I’d like better if they were done differently.

“Like what?” you ask.

Fair enough. How about this? 5E is a step back toward the old school, but it’s not a big enough step in some ways. I still don’t like the one-XP-table for all classes that was introduced with the d20 System. A thief, or rogue, should not require the same XP to advance in levels as does a magic-user, meaning a wizard.

I’m also not a super fan of d20 System multi-classing, where a magic-user/thief would pick which class to advance in each time he earned enough XP to go up a level. I like XP being divided evenly between the classes.

That said, there is one thing I do like about 5E XP advancement, and that is the idea that levels 1 and 2 are sort of like apprentice levels. It takes 300 XP to reach 2nd level, 900 to reach 3rd, and then a big jump to 2,700 XP to reach 4th.

What happens when I drive about 50 miles each day getting to and from work is I have time to think, or more accurately, time to let my mind wander. During one of my mental meanderings, I mused about combining 1E style level advancement (including multi-classing) with 5E. Let’s compare what the rogue and wizard would like using my crazy idea.

Notice that I kept the apprentice levels. Like I said, I like that idea. Then, for 3rd-level XP, I took the maximum XP for 1st-level from 1E, and added that value to 900. Thus, a 1E thief is 1st-level until he 1,250 XP, so 1,250 + 900 = 2,150 XP to reach 4th level. After that, I sort of followed the XP patter from 1E by doubling the previous level. I know the ratios don’t follow this pattern all the way up, but I didn’t feel like doing that much math today. Using this chart, a rogue advances in levels more quickly than a wizard, which I like (and, no, I don’t really care about balancing the classes so that their equal at every level because (A) that’s impossible and (B) that’s not old school).

Now imagine, if you will, an elf rogue/wizard. At 1st level, he’d have the abilities of both classes because he’d be an elf rogue 1/wizard 1. He’d roll HD and average the results to find hit points, be able to use rogue armor and weapons, cast spells, et cetera. He joins an adventuring group. 500 XP later, his single-classed comrades are comfortably 2nd level, but he’s still a rogue 1/wizard 1 because he has to split his XP evenly between his two classes. When he’s earned 5,000 XP in total, he’s a rogue 4/wizard 3 since each class has 2,500 XP applied to it. A single-classed wizard would be 4th-level, and a single-classed rogue would be 5th-level.

Crazy? Probably, but it’s a craziness that I liked in 1E.

November 16th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »