Five Moons Pre-Alpha Playtest

Do you have a few hours to run or play a low-level game session? Download the Five Moons Pre-Alpha Playtest Document, give it a read, build some characters, beat up some monsters, and let me know what you think. Thanks!

UPDATE 12/31/14: Scroll down to below the picture for some FAQs!

SKR-FM-PAT-Five-Moons-Pre-Alpha-Playtest (PDF)

Rogue Stealth

 

FAQs

(I’ll be incorporating these answers into the Jan/Feb playtest document and the corebook for clarity.)

Abilities

What kind of action is it to use an activated ability? Most are part of another action—frex, using Power Attack isn’t a separate action, it’s part of the action you use to make your attack.

Ability Scores

Do I use PSY in place of 3E’s Wis and Cha? Yes.

Do I use my caster stat as a bonus on attack spells? Yes, in the same way that you add STR to melee attack rolls or DEX to ranged attack rolls. If you’re a wizard, your eldritch focus determines what stat (and how much) to add to spell damage. (I’ll need to implement something like this for the other classes.)

Boosts

What action is it to use a boost? Most boosts do not take any longer than using the ability normally (if a boost takes longer than normal, it says so).

Why should I rest for 8 hours to regain all boosts when resting 1 hour regains 1 boosts? There may be options or creatures outside of this playtest that have more than 5 boosts per day.

Classes

How is a rogue supposed to stay relevant with spellcasting if their spell bonus never increases (or even merely increases at a rate slower than their martial attacks)? This pre-alpha playtest only shows levels 1–3, which is like 3E levels 1–1.5 (one and a half), so you’re not going to see much of a progression at this point.

Isn’t the party penalized if they don’t have the right mix of classes to provide all the necessary auras? The Jan/Feb playtest will have at least two auras for each class, so you have more versatility (and don’t have redundant auras, frex if you have two warriors in the party).

Isn’t the wizard’s knowledge aura kind of weak? Yes, and the Jan/Feb playtest will offer more options.

Is there a limit to the number of spells I can learn? No. Eventually (outside the scope of the pre-alpha playtest) you’ll hit a limit of how many of them you can have ready in a particular day (similar to a 3E wizard), but for the purpose of this pre-alpha playtest, if you can find someone to teach you a spell (or cronk, feat, or stunt), you can learn it–it just takes a few days. So you don’t have the “sorcerer problem” with learning less-useful spells like Alarm (or the same problem for a fighter wanting to learn something exotic like Weapon Focus [whip])–there’s no disincentive to learning it.

Maybe the specializations could offer a choice of two feats, instead of just one? Perhaps. 🙂

Maybe the specializations could grant an ability unique to the class? I’d rather not lock away an option to something you choose at 1st level and not allow anyone else to ever acquire that option; “you can learn whatever you want” is one of the core principles of the game.

Resolve, what does it do? It’s not used in the pre-alpha playtest, but it’ll work like “mental hit points” against mental attacks and things like Diplomacy and Intimidate.

The wizard’s healer aura doesn’t do anything? True, as the only healing ability in the pre-alpha playtest isn’t a roll.

Combat

What do I multiply on a crit? Nothing! Just add the flat crit damage explained on page 2 of the pre-alpha playtest document.

Cronks

(People have suggested the following names instead of the placeholder term “cronk”: Angle, Art, Combat Ability, Combat Trick, Contest, Drill, Effort, Engagement, Exploit, Gambit, Kata, Knack, Machination, Maneuver, Means, Modus, Ploy, Praxis, Scrap, Shift, Stratagem, Strike, Tactic, Technique, Wile. I really want it to be a one-word term.)

Is Frequent Critical disproportionately good for high-crit weapons like greataxes and scythes? Yes, it needs to add the same increment in the same way that the Improved Critical feat does in 3E.

General

Given how much this playtest relies on the 3E rules, how much is the system going to rely on 3E? Between the holidays and four sick cats in the weeks before the holidays, I had to rely on the 3E chapters to fill in some of the blanks so I could still get this pre-alpha playtest out before January. The Jan/Feb playtest will not refer to the 3E books in any way.

Does the “distracted” condition mean the same thing as 3E’s “flat-footed”? Yep.

Do ranged weapons add DEX to damage? Yes, please.

Heroic Feats

Are the Armor Training feats a chain, or can I just select any one of them that I want? They’re a chain (I’ve updated the format for the Jan/Feb playtest to include notations for things like that).

Can I learn a feat more than once, like learning Diehard as a cronk and as a general heroic feat? No, as the 3E general rule is that you can’t choose a feat more than once unless it specifically calls out that you can. In any case, Diehard appearing on both lists was an oversight (Sneak Attack being on the cronk and stunt list was not an oversight).

How does Scattered Spell work if you can only spend one boost per round? It needs an explicit exception to that limitation.

Is Brew Potion not supposed to last long? It’s not. It’s a weak 1st-level ability intended to let you share some of your spell effects with your allies.

Should Endurance scale up to let you sleep in heavier armor at higher levels? Probably, or there’ll be a separate feat to allow that. But the pre-alpha playtest is only about character levels 1–3, so it doesn’t address that issue.

Shouldn’t Fast Drinker be something you can do without learning it as a feat? Drinking a potion is normally a standard action; the feat lets you do it as a swift action. There’s an intermediate step of letting you drink it as a move action, which’ll probably be a boost effect anyone can do.

Should the metamagic feats be categorized as spells instead of general heroic feats? Probably, that would give wizards better access to them.

Races

Are the final races going to have the 3E-ish ability score modifiers? Probably not, it just helped differentiate them a bit more for the pre-alpha playtest.

Resistances

Do I add my ability scores to my resistances? Yes, add your CON to Fort, your DEX to Ref, and your PSY to Will.

Spells

Does an [armor] spell stack with mundane armor? For this pre-alpha playtest, sure, but probably not after this…

Stunts

Should the [Incredible] feats instead be things that any character can do? It’s a fine line to walk… you want the rogue to be better at skill things than anyone, and one way to do that is to give them more access to the stunts that improve feats. If you instead make the [Incredible] feats basic (non-feat) aspects of the skills themselves, you’re taking away something that the rogue is inherently good at.

 

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97 thoughts on “Five Moons Pre-Alpha Playtest

  1. You are currently using “crunk” as a placeholder word. Ok, placeholders are a pretty standard thing during dev.
    I went poking around, brain and dictionary/thesaurus, for some related words that might be appropriate or related.
    Right off the bat I ran across Praxis, but I suspect people will think of the software company using that name.
    Here’s some I found, though I’ll admit some have been used in other games, and some probably don’t have the right feel.
    Either way, if it helps, here’s a list of possible ones to consider:
    _\/~\/_
    Angle
    Drill
    Knack
    Means
    Modus
    Ploy
    Praxis
    Scrap
    Shift
    Stratagem
    Strike
    Tactics
    Technic
    Wile

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    • From your list, I liked “Strategem” (sounds cool to say in plural), and “Tactics”.

      Here’s my suggestions I’d like to add to the pile: Techniques, Ki, Charles-Atlas, (Muscular)-Kinetics, Maneuver, Art.

      Kinetics I got from the idea of how there’s all this math to how much “energy’ we spend from physical activities in life.

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      • Kata. It isn’t exactly the correct use of the term, but it has the right feel and is very short.

        Maneuver could work as long as all the monkish combat maneuvers actually take a crunk. Technique could also work.

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  2. Couple questions:

    1) Fire Bolt. The boost that lets you attack 1 additional target. Is this duplicate splash damage on a nearby creature, or a straight up extra fire bolt? Or player’s choice?

    2) Minor Healing, baseline ability. 1 point of at-will healing is effectively infinite healing out of combat. Is that the intention or is there a limitation missing?

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    • 1) It’s a completely separate fire bolt, requiring its own attack roll and getting its own damage roll.
      2) It’s intentional. For now. Allowing characters to heal up in between battles isn’t really a big deal… assuming they have enough time to do so. Other factors (like minute-based boosts) can pressure characters to move on instead of healing to full after every fight. And it takes some of the pressure off the “we’re low on Health, let’s stop for the night” to “we’re low on other resources like boosts, let’s stop for the night.” I might want to put a 1/minute limitation on it based on the results of this pre-alpha playtest, but for now I’d like to see how it goes if the PCs can be at full Health at the start of most fights (barring random encounters and such).

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      • {I might want to put a 1/minute limitation on it based on the results of this pre-alpha playtest, but for now I’d like to see how it goes if the PCs can be at full Health at the start of most fights (barring random encounters and such).}

        Have you considered having the at-will ability of the spell give temporary hitpoints that last an hour instead? It would give you room to buff the spell, which feels weak other than being able to heal infinitely out of combat. It would also let the spell synergize with itself by healing up the fighter with a Boost and then topping him off with the at-will use for temporary hitpoints.

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    • {I might want to put a 1/minute limitation on it based on the results of this pre-alpha playtest, but for now I’d like to see how it goes if the PCs can be at full Health at the start of most fights (barring random encounters and such). }

      I don’t see that as being necessary, as “infinite healing” out of combat really isn’t that big a deal. At low/high levels of D&D, it was needed so you could actually survive. It didn’t change the deadliness of those encounters, as they could still take you out, and in case of latter, they could do it without needing to interact with your HP at all. So making it so can only be used ever minute or so, is just going to force the party to wait even more, to get the healing they need, or worse, leave and go rest up somewhere.

      Especially since we’re using 3rd ed monsters, anyone w/a healer is going to be thankful for the “infinite” healing. Plus, whole “losing 20% resources” based on HP isn’t really a workable paradigm, as nobody is going to go into an encounter with less 50% health, let alone eventually 20-40% HP left.

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      • Infinite out of combat healing IS a big deal. It completely breaks the healing economy, one of the only long term resources a D&D party. It has the consequence of making the game more skirmish-based and less adventurous. It also removes some depth from the game.

        Given, wands of cure light wounds and Healing Surges/Hit Die were NOT adequate solutions — the former made healing too plentiful and trivial to store/prepare and the latter means the party never needs to stock up on supplies. As you said, lack of some kind of healing source isn’t an acceptable either. I do believe the party should have a means to recover from a battle, but not for free.

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      • This “Infinite Healing” would be quite needed at the low levels, where HP is small, and monster damage can very well take you out in one blow. Being back at full HP helps they don’t die, or minimize likelihood of being one-shotted. Also, no party is going to go into subsequent battles with percentages of their HP gone, the notion of “using up 20% resources” like in 3E for HP doesn’t really work.

        {It has the consequence of making the game more skirmish-based and less adventurous. }
        I’m not sure what you mean, could you explain this for me? Since D&D is about having skirmishes with a party of small units against small units (even if like gallons of mooks like I, only in scores of). You’re encouraged to go on adventures, traps (if referring to these in part) that just deal damage aren’t actually interesting “encounters”, ones that create a situation/obstacle do though. A damage dealing trap, would work as part of an encounter itself, but something deal with in a one time instance would not.

        {do believe the party should have a means to recover from a battle, but not for free.}
        What would you suggest the cost should be, some type of health penalty mechanic, like in Guild Wars? (albeit was that only on death opposed to adventuring?) This has me thinking of how I realize Brew Potions doesn’t let you keep potions over time, and I think could probably still allow that, but put some type of limit on number can make (unless going to be some higher lv version that does this?) I Also want to point out, that the Healer-spec Boost doesn’t do anything, as the current [Healing] Spell has no rolls to reroll.

        Lastly, as I recall, Healing Surges idea was workable, just too much in the economy vs. Monster crappy monster damage, and the fact could increase the benefit of it at all really mucked it all up.

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    • The Boost section in the Glossary says, “Most boosts do not take any longer than using the ability normally (if a boost takes longer than normal, it says so).”
      So unless it specifies an action to activate it, it’s either part of an existing action (like making an attack roll) or not an action at all.
      I’ll make a note to clarify this more in the future. 🙂

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  3. {“treat it like 3E, except if something in this document changes or overrides that.” }

    I was somewhat disappointed to find that we’re using 3E as a template/crutch in order to get this moving. Moreso that we’re using 3rd edition monsters for a new, even if still D20, game. Given that information may not be as useful due to it not really giving any Target Numbers for the new game. Since 3E’s monster numbers weren’t really that well designed to forming a consistent RNG for the game, and is not Five Moon’s. I understand would’ve taken longer, or be difficult to make monsters, but without challenges to set up benchmarks, makes the pre-Alpha Playtest much less useful, or more difficult to criticize.

    Step 3:
    I found it rather unfortunate that the races had ability score modifiers, when I recall we were doing away with that limitation in Five Moons? I’m assuming it’s just for this limited playtest, but even then, don’t feel its necessary using 3E as a Base, as could’ve easily not been there at all, and assumed doing the “take -1 to get a +1” to represent a “racial” bonus of sorts.

    I also thought it odd, in that with your three Racial choices having specific ability scores, that ye didn’t decide to cater each race to one of the 3 classes (So Dwarf =Warrior, Elf =Rogue, Wizard =Human by proxy), though Elf is fitting enough.

    Skills:
    I’m somewhat confused on this one, are we doing it like 3rd, and therefore the Warrior only gets 2 skills, the Rogue 3, and Wizard 2 +some specs? respectively? Alternatively I’m hoping we’re using Five Moons Skill List, and would much rather “test” that than 3rd’s overly volumed list.

    { [“Cronk” is a placeholder word for now, as I’m looking for a good one-word term that represents the idea of “something martial you learn that’s directly related to doing something in combat.”] }

    My suggestions: Techniques, Ki, Charles-Atlas, (Muscular)-Kinetics, Maneuver, Art.

    It definitely should be something that doesn’t necessarily stick to the notion of being “mundane/realistic” or otherwise limited to low-level sctick, and reality.

    { ” (I don’t want to confuse things too much by adding in the armor system at this time) ” }

    That’s a shame, I was actually looking forward to seeing the armor system, and seeing how it scales in this system.

    (Heroic) Feats:

    Brew Potion and other “crafting” feats I think is going in the right direction for the Boost mechanic.

    I noticed Diehard is both a Cronk power, AND a feat, I’m wondering if one can take [Heroic] & [Cronk] versio?, Thusly a CON Warrior could end up w/29HP at 1st level.

    Endurance seems like it should scale over time, so that by 12th+ or so, Plate armor is no longer an issue sleeping in. Since its little low level problems like these that harm PC’s from feeling “heroic” at the later levels.

    Fast Drinker is an example of a feat that should just be a feature for PC’s in general (boost included). Spending a standard action for a potion isn’t worth the action spent, A move action would be better, but still not as good.

    Powers:
    Counted up the amount: Spells=15, Cronks=19, Stunts=18.

    I feel like I’d much rather see their more genuine versions for Five Moons, than their 3E converted counterparts. That said, I understand the reasoning, and some of them retained their original version, and afterawhile, seemed most of them might’ve stayed in their original draft as well.

    I agree with some notions that you have alot of powers, and not too many of them may see play. As some have some cool uses, or fun ideas, but not likely to see regular use. So maybe they get readied for a day, to do something specific, and then gone.

    Cronks:
    I feel like “Bashing Shield” one most converted to 3E, and wonder if it’s 5M version is better.

    Frequent Critical & Powerful Critical should probably be folded, as Crits aren’t dangerous onto themselves, and the cost of Boosts would be more than enough, though damage bonus prob wouldn’t stack (though might make Crit-fisher type PC’s stay relevant?)

    Sneak attack, I’m thinking it either should expand on terms that allow it to occur, or multiple status conditions cause those common conditions. I could see Rogues making Smokebombs, blinding attacks, among others to get their SA off much as possible.

    Weapon Finesse, I can see you wanted to go with the design notion of encouraging rogues to use light weaponry and the like (opposed to SAing w/Greatswords and ballistas). It may sound strong, but I can see the bonus won’t really add to much at first, and at most, +5-6 extra bonus at the end game (assuming still using something like TWF at that point).

    Stunts:
    I think lot of the “incredible” stunts for certain things should possibly be folded, like those with Acrobatics (Inc-Esc&Acro,Riding). Though that could just be due to this playtest, where the base game’s low skills, high specialization, it might be somewhat fitting? That, or because of low levels and their call for higher granularity that “Riding” might be worth as a power, but otherwise something that should fade away in use. As always, I hope there’s going to be higher level versions, like Super Climbing (Clouds,Waterfalls,rainbows, lava/acid), FF Dragoon, or jump-induced flight (“Jump good”) type leaping.

    Spells:
    Some spells (BIllowing Fog, Minor Fear, Prehensile Rope.) seem to have “Flavor Boosts” or Boost options that have no tangible effect, leaving that up to the DM. Which easily makes the option not as consistent in its function as well. These effects should be found at the bottom of the Boost options for the powers respectively.

    Lastly, I look forward to making the super tough Dwarf, Brute character, and a friend of mine is going to make an interesting swashbuckler. I intend to make a character of every class of course, but I hope what I’ve said here is of some use.

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    • I read “treat it like 3E” to mean “treat it like Pathfinder.” This goes for skills, monsters, equipment, and anything else not specified in the play test document. This should also result in better monster builds (though perhaps slightly tougher). As for skills, the class sections denote how many skills you get to pick as class skills (rogue gets 12, warrior and wizard get 8), with skill points per level being (INT + X). I’m also going to assume that you only get one “rank” per level (as per Pathfinder) to which you add your +5 for it being a class skill.

      I’m looking forward to trying out an elf fighter in Matthew’s game on the Paizo forums!

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  5. Some Further stuff I wanted to point out.

    The Wizard’s [Healing] spec Aura doesn’t do anything in the playtest, as there’s no healing spell that involves rolls to my knowledge. While I’m sure probably will be in the full playtest, I imagine might want to make sure its present day one in the playtest. Unless its expected that its a later level investment, so that PC’s will avoid it low levels and respec into it later?

    Brew Potion doesn’t allow Potions to stay, which I can comments of that this means no real potions “in-game” world’s economy. Is intent to change this either allow a boost option to keep it, or this is a low level version of Brew potion, and a higher level version where they stick would be available later on? If it’s a concern of buffs, limiting buffs to certain number (PC Level, item slots, or PSY min 1) could help alleviate that, and healing could be similar, or only allow X number of potions to be made at a time.

    Diehard exists as Both a [Heroic] Feat, and a Cronk power, is this intentional? Personally I find it awesome ye can make a low level defensive character with 29HP, where 20HP was the max ye could get in 3.5 (20 Con Barbarian w/Toughness). So I could see it being on purpose for you wanting to design a path for CON Warrior to be a valid character to play (albeit unsure how relevant it’d stay at later levels without further CON specific ability support).

    Further, I wanted to mention that I think the boost benefit should simply put you at 5 HP, regardless of how far into negatives you’ve gone. So can be at -1, or -30, but always go back to 5 HP. Such an ability I think would fit to its name, and be truly unique/awesome for Warriors at this level (never before had such benefit, let alone at level 1!).

    {Boost: For the next round, increase the range of your class’s aura ability to 1 mile }
    For Expanded Aura Feat, while I think its cool, what purposes did you have in mind for this ability? Seems to me it would serve cool for an ability leading an Army, but then that hits more arbitrary grounds where you’re not going to be rolling every attack/resist/damage rolls for them.

    Farther Spell Seems rather weak w/small ranges, but then I also understand we don’t necessarily want 3E’s super long ranges on casting spells at enemies (maybe later on assuming Warriors & foes have means to close that distance).

    Fast Drinker is an example of a feat that should just be a feature for PC’s in general (boost benefit included in the basic action). Spending a standard action for a potion isn’t worth the action spent, A move action would be better, but still not as good. Though I am aware it means healing potions can be quaffed mid battle in addition to attacking, a feature and not a bug.

    Fleet I wondered if its boost should be +30ft instead, but if its just a low level counterpart, it seems alright. Usually with D&D combat ranges, it would be helpful for the likely Rogues & warriors who take it, to close in to their targets. Though honestly, I can see this as one of those feats that everyone will take through “Training/Source”, as it provides a passive bonus that’s good for everyone.

    I get the Armor training feats, as while won’t hurt your class aura, will hurt the rest of the powers you may take, so that works.

    Trapfinding is a power,since its needed in order to disarm magical traps. Later on magical traps will likely become more and more prevalent versus non-magical ones, are you concerned this’ll make the power more “required”, or that players will consider it to be? Or do you think it’s because can eventually just earn/train to have the power, the fact it’ll possibly be “needed” later on (12th+ I’d say), makes it not as much a problem or even a “tax”? I know it’d then have to be “readied”, and if not, a Boost spent in order to use it immediately.

    Sorry for length, want to cover much as I can to be of use/answer questions to you.

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  6. Would it be alright if I streamed/recorded my playtest sessions? I tend to run my games over a virtual tabletop, and I thought providing a recording of the session might prove useful. I’m trying to gather my friends up and run a pre-published Pathfinder RPG module for the encounters.

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  7. Do you add (or subtract) ability scores to Resistances? Also, as pertains to skills, am I correct in assuming that Charisma and Wisdom based skills fall under Psyche now?

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    • Yes–anything you’d use a PF ability modifier for, use your Five Moons ability score.
      And yes, use PSY for anything PF would use Wis or Cha for.
      (Keeping notes for explaining this in the full playtest.)

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  8. On Boosts : The glossary says you can rest 1 hour to get 1 back, and 8 hours to get all of them back. Does that mean you can only get 1 Boost back per day with a 1 hour rest ? Otherwise, I don’t understand why I would rest 8 hours to get 5 boosts.

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  10. So starting in on building a party to do some testing, a few questions and comments stand out:
    – Casting stats are alarmingly unnecessary, and the spellcasting bonus isn’t really defined. I’m assuming ranged touch spells use it in place of BAB, but what stat adds to it?
    – +3 +1 +0 +0 -1 seems like How Stat Lines Will Go. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there’s very little incentive to stray from it.
    – It’s a bit unclear what is and is not multiplied on a crit. Str bonus multiplies right? What about that +5 from the extra crit damage crunk if I’m using an x3 weapon?
    – Seems like everyone is going to grab exactly one armor spell and have it up indefinitely.

    This seems REALLY GOOD for a level 1 warrior:

    Smashy (Human Warrior 1)

    Dex +3 Str +1 Int -1
    Skills: Climb +7, Swim +7, Acro +9
    Specialization: Swashbuckler
    Feats: Weapon Finesse (Spec), Fleet (H), Scorching Armor (F1), Frequent Crit (C1),
    Future: Sneak Attack (C2), Powerful Crit (C3), Power Attack (F3)

    Attack: +10 melee (+8 TWF) +9 ranged
    Boarding Axe (1d6+4 19×3 1d6+18 S/P) x2
    HP 10/10 AC 20 (Touch 13 FF 15 Scale Mail+Fire) Fort 3 Ref 3 Wil 0

    BOOSTS 5/5:
    – Reroll missed attack (100′ aura)
    – Reroll fear save (100′ aura)
    – +10′ move
    – Auto-crit (!!!)
    – Lose TWF penalty
    – Full damage on offhand attack
    – Finesse 2-handed weapon (meh)
    – +5 to confirm fire spell crits (meh)
    – 1d6 damage to anyone who hits me
    – Concealment for 1 min

    20 AC, possibly concealment going at all times, hits really consistently for about 11 damage per round, with crits that’ll drop pretty much anything in 1 hit, and 5 auto-crits a day. This is also a LOT of bookkeeping for a level 1 fighter. Boost options really stack up quick. Also warrior specializations really leave a lot to be desired. It’s just limiting selection on a bonus feat, where you’re already getting like half the list in the first few levels.

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    • {Casting stats are alarmingly unnecessary}
      {and the spellcasting bonus isn’t really defined. I’m assuming ranged touch spells use it in place of BAB, but what stat adds to it?}

      Try it with the casting stat not doing anything.
      And try it with your casting stat adding to your spell attack rolls and spell damage rolls.

      I’m 99% sure I’m using the second one, but I’m curious about how the first option plays. 🙂

      {+3 +1 +0 +0 -1 seems like How Stat Lines Will Go. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there’s very little incentive to stray from it.}

      And that’s fine, just as the assumption for 3E is 15 14 13 12 10 8, which is +2 +2 +1 + 0 –1, modified by race (which could create +3 +2 +1 0 0 –1).

      {It’s a bit unclear what is and is not multiplied on a crit. Str bonus multiplies right? What about that +5 from the extra crit damage crunk if I’m using an x3 weapon?}

      According to Section 6 on page 2, crits aren’t multiplied: all you do is add the weapon’s average damage. So if your Str is +2 and you’re using a longsword (average damage = 4), a normal hit is 1d8+2, and a crit is 1d8+2+4. And if you have the Powerful Crit cronk, add the +5 (not multiplied) to the crit damage.

      {Seems like everyone is going to grab exactly one armor spell and have it up indefinitely.}

      And it’ll be interesting to see how that works out. 🙂

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      • Oof, no bonus str damage at all then on a crit? So for total clarity- the character above does 1d6+4 normal, 1d6+10 on an (x3) crit, effectively 1d3+2 (+5 on crits) on offhand attacks, and with an elven curved blade would be doing 1d10+6, +11 on a crit.

        And then crit or otherwise, it’s just a flat +5 each from Power Attack, Sneak Attack, and (when applicable) Powerful Crit… all of which effectively turn into just a +2.5 for offhand attacks?

        There’s really a whole side discussion to be had here on 2HF vs. 2WF. Two-handers seem to have very little going for them right now, beyond eating into your budget less.

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      • I appreciate the character example, good to see more perspectives of powerful characters than can be made.

        {Seems like everyone is going to grab exactly one armor spell and have it up indefinitely.

        SKR: And it’ll be interesting to see how that works out. 🙂 }

        I imagine the intent was that ye weren’t supposed to be able to wear Armor AND have an Armor spell up as well that isn’t Cloth armor. If that’s not the case, then SKR, I would its going to become another one of those “must have” options that characters will likely Train/Earn into (same with Fleet, and possibly Diehard for first few levels if applicable). Due to the fact those options are passive, and just make you generically better at what you do.

        {I’m 99% sure I’m using the second one, but I’m curious about how the first option plays. }
        A stat that’s just providing an attack/damage bonus is really just math, and something you could just look at without needing to “see how it plays”. In this case, a +1-3 stat is providing a +5-15% hit chance, using PF’s expected numbers, Base +6 would hit on a 5/6/8/9 or better for CR’s 1/2,1,2,3 respectively.

        So, it would likely look the following:
        Base +6: would hit on a 5/6/8/9 or better for CR’s 1/2,1,2,3 respectively.
        Casting stat +1, Wizard +7: Hits on a 4/5/7/8 or better for CR’s 1/2, 1,2,3 respectively.
        Casting stat +2, Wizard +8: Hits on a 3/4/6/7 or better for CR’s 1/2, 1,2,3 respectively.
        Casting stat +3, Wizard +9: Hits on a 2/3/5/6 or better for CR’s 1/2, 1,2,3 respectively.

        Damage wise, it’s +1-3 points, which at max, could make the difference to guarantee slaying a CR 1 target on average, or theoretically 1/3 their HP if CR 1/2 are expected to have 10HP? (weird that minions have more HP in PF, didn’t notice that)

        Source: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/monsterCreation.html

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    • Is it cool if I put a character, and possible future ones up here as well? I appreciate these observations, didn’t fully realize it could be used for free armor.

      My following character was just based on a fun idea (Taking Diehard [Cronk], [Heroic] Feat versions), given PF’s HP numbers, his defensive nature won’t really allow him to take out CR 1 threats reliably at all. I wasn’t really worried about skills, as PF has too many, and due to Wis taking up so many of em, greatly limited my options combined w/ACP (Stealth, perception, Sense Motive, Bluff/UMD generally my stock choices).

      Orin, Adamantineshield
      Dwarf Warrior 1st.
      STR 1
      DEX 0
      CON 3 (+1 base, +1racial, +1 cost)
      INT 0
      PSY -2 (-1 racial, -1 cost)

      HP 29 (13 Base, +8 Diehard [Cronk], +8 [feat])
      Res 1 (3 base -2 racial)
      AC 20 (+4 armor, +6 Tow-Shield). Move 20ft
      War-ax +5 (1d10+1)

      Cronks: Diehard, Defending-Shield (spec),
      Feat: diehard.
      Future: (C2)Dodge Arrows, (C3) Improved Init, (3rd) Scorching Armor*. Probably also Train for: Fleet,Imp-Init, and Expert-Def.
      Skills: Craft +6,Perception+4, Know(Dungeon)+6, Dis-Device +6

      Boost: +6 shield to adjacent ally till end/turn.
      Boost: +5 to AC vs one atk.
      Boost: HP is 0 or less, immediately heal +5HP.

      Overall, I don’t think the character would be all that valid past 3rd level and onward. I think his main schtick (AC/HP) would diminish in value, making other character combinations simply better to go with. Though I can see an AC of 27-28 (33 vs ranged) at 3rd lv, & 45 HP which is nice.

      *Thanks for the idea Secret Gamer Girl!, go-go free armor I also adopted some of your format as it looked rather well organized.

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    • “Seems like everyone is going to grab exactly one armor spell”

      Not everyone. For one thing, AC is slightly less valuable because of the way crits work. It’s less necessary to avoid getting hit if crits probably won’t one-shot you.

      For another, there is a hidden cap on the value of AC, determined by the hit bonus of monsters. There’s a 3e supplement called Trailblazer that suggests for 3e monsters, 15 AC is optimal.

      Also, there are other ways to boost AC if that is your thing. Shields, defender cronk, armor feats, DEX. Once you accept that more AC isn’t always better, it becomes obvious that there are legitimate choices.

      “specializations really leave a lot to be desired. It’s just limiting selection on a bonus feat”

      This is a good point. Specs are a limitation disguised as a bonus. I’m not sure what to do about that except suggest that they offer more. Maybe two flavor appropriate feats instead of just one. Or maybe something unique to the class. I know the idea is to allow people as much freedom as possible to choose whatever they want with their feats, so unique specs run contrary to that. But it could be fixed with a feat that allows you to take other classes’ specs.

      Along that line, it has come up that the class auras, while awesome, limit party composition. Parties are penalized if they don’t have one of each class. In some cases, that’s not a big deal, but if you’re missing a Warrior’s hit reroll, that is a big deal. Perhaps a feat allowing you access to other auras?

      Also the Wizard knowledge reroll is in particular very weak. It’s much worse than the Rogue’s any-skill reroll. Letting you reroll spell attacks seems like an obvious choice for a Wizard aura.

      “There’s really a whole side discussion to be had here on 2HF vs. 2WF. Two-handers seem to have very little going for them right now, beyond eating into your budget less.” (From below.)

      Except that 2H weapons are simply better in almost every way. TWF penalizes you three times: once because you have to spend a feat, again because you get a hit penalty, and again because where using a 2H weapon lets you use 1.5x STR, TWF only lets you use 1x STR. 2H weapons only penalize you with overkill vs. low HP monsters.

      Ideally IMO all of those disadvantages would be removed. I suggest making it a baseline option, removing the hit penalty, and removing the multiplier from 2H. There’s no reason why TWF should be worse than 2H–that is a relic from the notion that Rogues should be inferior in combat. To compensate 2H vs. low HP monsters, bring back a version of the old Cleave on kills.

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      • {Not everyone. For one thing, AC is slightly less valuable because of the way crits work. It’s less necessary to avoid getting hit if crits probably won’t one-shot you.}
        Considering you can eventually “Train” or possibly earn Feats through Power sites? in the setting, it’s a passive numbers boost to just have it. So abilities that already provide passive boost like Fleet, [Element] Armor Spells, Diehard, Improved Initiative (especially) are all abilities that are simply just good for everyone to have.

        {or another, there is a hidden cap on the value of AC, determined by the hit bonus of monsters.}
        As in, once they need a 20+ to hit you, increasing the AC any higher doesn’t really matter at that point? Which while true, does also help to allow you to be harder to hit against higher level threats, maintain difficulty of being hit as game scales, and possibly help counter any abilities monsters may have that give bonus to hit, or bypass some defenses to make you easier to strike.

        {Also the Wizard knowledge reroll is in particular very weak.}
        I agree with this sentiment here, I felt it was weak, but couldn’t articulate it for some reason.

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    • If you’re a wizard, it depends on your eldritch focus. Whatever it says to add to your spell damage, add it to your spell attacks.
      I also told another person this: Try it with the casting stat not doing anything [for spell attack rolls]. And try it with your casting stat adding to your spell attack rolls and spell damage rolls.

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      • I made a rogue with the Frost Bolt spell, but I wasn’t really sure what he adds to spell bonus, if anything. I guess obviously he wouldn’t get damage because that’s the wizard’s thing! As you suggest, I’ll try it both ways (with and without the stat to spell attack rolls) and see how it rolls.

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      • “I made a rogue with the Frost Bolt spell, but I wasn’t really sure what he adds to spell bonus, if anything.”

        Rogues with spells kind of get screwed. I think the solution is to adjust the ability scores themselves, so it’s fixed for every class. That way you choose how viable you are at using your abilities when you choose your ability scores, rather than when you choose your class.

        INT: add spell damage
        PSY: add healing

        As a solution to the problem of “What if I want PSY to spell damage” do something along the lines of 5e’s STR/DEX fix (use STR for melee and thrown weapons, use DEX for ranged and finesse weapons). Let INT give you bonus temporary HP if you want an INT based heal type character, and let PSY give spell damage with appropriately flavored spells, like pos/neg energy. (That’s assuming you have those.)

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      • @hudax

        Before I realized that the playtest packet never mentions adding ability scores to spell attacks, I thought you could choose which ability score applies to spell bonus and save DCs when you cast a spell. Specializations explicitly name an ability score, which encourage (but not require) players to use that ability score when they cast spells.

        I’m not particularly crazy about the idea that each ability score does something different with spells because you’re using a general rule to enforce a specific flavor for all characters. It works for specializations because they’re meant to tie some flavor to your character class and add a mechanical benefit to it. If a player can’t find a specialization that matches their character concept, the GM can homebrew a new specialization rather than have to change the rules just for their character.

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  11. Feedback based on character creation:

    1) Racial minuses. Not only do the minuses make the racials feel like they’re not bonuses (because they’re not), but they make the Human racial far better than any other. The non-human modifiers force you into one score (a detriment) and additionally take something away (something you also can’t choose–two more detriments). The minus also brings down their sum total of ability score “points.” Most of this could be alleviated just by getting rid of the minuses.

    In general, one of my criticisms of 3e is all the minuses. Having all your investments (into race, TWF, even Power Attack) come with penalties makes it feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth. You’ve said don’t model the same thing twice. That’s what bonus/penalty options do. You are already paying an opportunity cost for everything you choose. On top of that, many choices also come with penalties. That doubles the cost of those choices. A bonus should just be a bonus, not a bonus/penalty.

    2) The Human bonus feat is better in FM than in 3e, because feats allow you access to so much more variety. I’m not sure if this in itself is really a problem or not, but it’s worth pointing out. This combined with having better scores makes Human feel like a superior choice of race.

    3) Wizard Bolt is lacking in boost diversity. Could be a problem with the other bolt spells being too diverse. They should perhaps not have the option to boost for 100% hit, since that’s really the only thing wizard bolt has going for it.

    Suggestions for other bolt spell boosts (which I’m assuming are behind the scenes for the moment). Electricity: daze target until your next turn. Acid: splash duplicate damage on a nearby creature. Pos/Light: also heals 1 HP to each ally. Neg/Dark: icky darkness causes enemies to suffer -1 hit until your next turn.

    4) Scattering spell metamagic feat. Since you can only use one boost per round, these don’t work. Probably these could just be passive effects.

    5) Alarm spell. Generally my opinion of spells is, if it can be duplicated with mundane material, it isn’t worthwhile. Alarm in 3e is literally a bell on a string. Alarm clock mode helps, but it still doesn’t feel very magical. A 1 round stun on enemies that trip the alarm might be appropriate as a boost. Maybe the alarm goes off in the heads of enemies really, really loudly.

    6) Exploding rune invisibility boost. My wizard player wants to use this offensively and is carrying around a sack of flour to circumvent the glow whenever possible. That makes me wonder if it’s really worth a boost (can be duplicated with mundane material). It seems far less useful if it’s visible, to the point where boosting it seems required. Perhaps invisibility should be optional baseline, and this boost could allow you to place it remotely instead.

    7) Very happy about the level of customization! 🙂

    Like

    • I’ve addressed some of your comments with a new FAQ section added to the original post at the top.
      6) I assume your wizard is carrying around a bunch of drawers to cast the spell on? How are they using it offensively, do you mean they’re throwing it at someone? I don’t understand how they’re using flour to circumvent the glow of their own spell…?

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      • “6) I assume your wizard is carrying around a bunch of drawers to cast the spell on? How are they using it offensively, do you mean they’re throwing it at someone? I don’t understand how they’re using flour to circumvent the glow of their own spell…?”

        Offensively as in, in combat, as opposed to the PF usage, which you would have to be pretty clever to use in combat. Considering the PF version of the spell the rune must be read to explode, whereas the FM playtest version doesn’t have that restriction.

        And yes, he’s considering taking it with Farther Spell to cast it from a distance at groups of monsters. 🙂 Gogo exploding rune launcher.

        The flour idea was when the group is able to “pull” monsters where they want them, he was going to place the rune on the floor and cover it so they wouldn’t see it, run over it, and blow it up. He figures if they can see it they will avoid it if they can.

        Like

      • { Drinking a potion is normally a standard action; the feat lets you do it as a swift action. There’s an intermediate step of letting you drink it as a move action, which’ll probably be a boost effect anyone can do.}

        A move action wouldn’t be going far enough as an at-will function, and definitely wouldn’t be worth it as a Boost (that anyone could do). The problem of it having action costs equivalent to typical combat actions, is it has to compete with that space. If Drinking a potion (to buff or heal) wasn’t worth doling out another attack to possibly take out the opponent (therefore not needing the healing, or the buff), then its not a worthwhile choice to make. Keeping a choice like that in the game may end up w/players “wasting” their turns, causing negative play experience due to bad choices weren’t as aware as not being as valid. Since I know Five Moons is going for some kind of “Action Point” like system, I do hope drinking a potion isn’t going to be of similar value to attacking/moving (unless of course it somehow “that” good to justify the conceptual space).

        {Resolve, what does it do? It’s not used in the pre-alpha playtest, but it’ll work like “mental hit points” against mental attacks and things like Diplomacy and Intimidate.}

        While I think “Social Combat’ can be a cool idea, I still must re-share my concerns**. Looks like that would have the result of having to put a certain ‘suggested level’ or otherwise for PC’s to parcipate in Social Combats. As till they gain a few levels, sounds like social combat that uses Resolve as an HP score would result in Rocket Tag Full stop (due to small values of 3+PSY/level,definitely not at level 1!). Though this could be possibly intentional, since I recall mentioning wanted Social Combat as an optional rule for like Social equivalent of Boss fights or major Encounters otherwise (convincing the King, Put on Kingdom Trial, merchant houses? etc). So the idea that level 1-5? PC’s or so can’t really change major social conventions much is indicative of them being low level PC’s that have yet to fully come into their own.So I can see low level social combat being trying to convince the corrupt mayor or Merchant, and have him possibly floor you if not careful.

        { Are the final races going to have the 3E-ish ability score modifiers?
        Probably not, it just helped differentiate them a bit more for the pre-alpha playtest.}

        If you do feel a need for their to be a third modifier, just include it in the character creation step in general, so don’t have races limiting the characters we can make. I think we all are due for some Orc Wizards (Ganon anyone?), midget warriors, and Skeleton men!

        **https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/qa-about-the-prototype-five-moons-rpg-character-sheet-warrior/comment-page-1/#comment-2853 (While fixed to all having similar values,concern of “glass cannon” still seems to survive here)

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    • {Offensively as in, in combat, as opposed to the PF usage, which you would have to be pretty clever to use in combat. Considering the PF version of the spell the rune must be read to explode, whereas the FM playtest version doesn’t have that restriction.}

      I think the solution is to give it a 1-minute casting time, as it’s actually based on Glyph of Warding (proximity-based explosion) and it’s not intended to be cast in combat. Clever player, though. 🙂

      Like

  12. Are the Armor Training heroic feats supposed to be progressive chains (as in d20 – Light > Medium > Heavy), or just freely available for anyone to pick?

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  13. I want to point out that I really like the writing style and format of the feats. Even though it’s a very early playtest, they’re simple, concise, and unambiguous. Each one doesn’t take much real estate on the page, which makes it rather easy skim through them and look for ones of interest. This style and formatting also helps the kind of player (like me) that prefer to have their abilities written onto the character sheet (even though the page number field is really nice). They’re concise and formatted simple enough to reasonably write onto a physical character sheet or paste from a PDF into an electronic character sheet. Contrast with 3E and 4E feats and powers — especially the 4E power stat blocks.

    I noticed this from Numenera, and I’m glad to see it here, too.

    Like

    • Thanks! I think ideally I’d be able to have each ability written up on a card, and you could just “ready” your cards for the spells you readied that day. Hmm, didn’t 4E do something like that, with all of the powers on cards? Paizo’s been debating doing cards for spells, but there are so many that the default starting deck would be very pricy.

      Like

      • Aye, 4th Edition released $10 packs of cards that had the powers for a given class from a given source book. D&D Insider (WotC’s subscription service) also had a character builder software that let you make your own cards. Exported character sheets include all the character’s powers in card form, including their basic attacks, with all relevant modifiers conveniently printed on them. Then the player can print off their sheet, cut out the cards, and slip them into card sleeves. I thought that was a nice touch. A shame each character could start with 10 powers each having bloated stat blocks and long descriptions, so my friends still couldn’t remember what their characters could do. Starting with three or four abilities seems about right in Five Moons. I’m concerned players will frequently forget their auras, which will be something I’m going to watch for during the playtest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Those cards were actually quite useful, what I most of all liked about the Char Builder, was it did that for Items too! Which could be nice to know which items (with options) of what they can do at all times. One thing I missed though, was the flavor text for attacks and such to give narrative context to what they’re to be like and such.

        One variant was a one pager that could house 12-16? powers (forget exact amount)on it, albeit have to write em all out. Still very nice, as it had room for basically every power you would ever use from 1-30th in terms of amount anyway. So it could be worthwhile to consider having a backpage to record all our powers.

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      • 4th did do powers cards, after the players had already done extensive sets of them. The 4th edition power cards are an outgrowth of spell cards which have been made by players since at least 1st edition.
        I had a file box of 3×5 cards with all my spells on them way back in the early 80s, and I’m positive I wasn’t the first.
        🙂

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  14. Are ranged weapons intended to get a damage bonus from dexterity or strength, a la 5e, to match the change that makes finesse weapons behave like 5e (to hit and damage bonus can be either from str or dex, without a cronk)?

    It looks like resolve currently has no mechanical effect with the current rules? Seemed like minor fear might have had a chance to interact, based on glossary, but the spell description skips it.

    Is distracted mechanically the same as flatfooted?

    Thanks.

    Like

  15. {It looks like resolve currently has no mechanical effect with the current rules?}
    It’s intended to be used for a “Social Combat” system that may not be finished yet (last I can recall), and Resolve is used as a spendable resource within it. Opposed to it being HP, as the values themselves would’ve been far too low in Social Combat, making people like Warriors worse at Social Combat than everyone else. So if Resolve is a secondary HP value, it faces the issue of becoming the “master damage” to attack, as monsters assumingly would have low of that as well, making it a superior option to take out foes (Similar issue in games like Edge of Empire, Shadowrun, Fantasy/Spy-Craft, & other games w/secondary HP tracks).

    Though it would make sense to be use that stat for things, albeit I’m unsure how ye would make it interact. If they’re to be spent like tokens to negate/minimize status effect like that, then it still acts as an incremental HP (that may want to balance to not make it expediently faster than dealing HP damage. Or perhaps balanced that Minions lose morale quick w/little Resolve, and standard/boss foes having much higher).

    A post where SKR regards it somewhat: https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/qa-about-the-prototype-five-moons-rpg-character-sheet-warrior/comment-page-1/#comment-2856

    Lastly, I’ve made the assumption that [Distracted] = Flatfooted, though I do wonder what other ways it’ll differ in Five Moons.

    Like

  16. “FAQ: boosts”

    I had assumed there was a limit to one rest per encounter and one long rest at night, but now it looks like that was just an assumption and I was misunderstanding how this works.

    You could conceivably adventure from 7-8 am and have an encounter, rest until 1, and be at full boosts? Then adventure from 1-2, have an encounter, and rest again until 7pm. With enough rest time between encounters you can spend all your boosts every encounter, rest, and be at full boosts all day, and continue adventuring like this indefinitely (barring random encounters and GM pressure). Is that right?

    In the context of PF rules for resting, there really isn’t a need to rest for 8 hours unless you have ability score damage (or like you said, have more than 5 boosts).

    Like

    • Yes, you could rest like that. But “random encounters and GM pressure” is the big issue. The GMing chapters will firmly put that sort of power back in the hands of the GM, as I’m tired of players deciding “we’re resting now” and the GM not feeling like they can interrupt that.
      (I’m also not a fan of the 15-minute adventuring day… so if this setup means you’re actually having more encounters per day, even if they’re spaced out over several hours, that’s fine. And that pacing would be much less likely in a dungeon/fortress setting than an outdoor adventure, of course.)

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      • Cool. After figuring out how it actually works, it turns out it works pretty much the way I wished it did. 🙂

        I don’t like the 15 minute adventuring day either. It’s not that there’s pressure to play that way in my group, but rather there are insufficient ways for characters to recover. I would call the adventuring strategy I outlined abusive and totally impractical, but it’s interesting to look at theoretically. I’m very excited to see how it will play out organically. It puts a whole extra layer of tension over when to use boosts and how many, since they are theoretically imminently recoverable, but in practicality they are still scarce.

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  17. One thing that worries me a bit is that dropping charisma and using PSY might make it hard to convert 3.x and Pathfinder stuff to 5M.
    Do you have any idea on how to solve that problem?

    Like

    • Actually, having one fewer stat to juggle means it’s not a big deal. If Wis/Cha isn’t important to your character, you could average them to determine PSY. And if Wis or Cha are important to your character, use the better one to determine your PSY. So 3E clerics, druids, and sorcerers will have good PSY scores.

      Like

  18. Here’s some feedback from a playtest I ran today.

    Playtest included five players familiar with Pathfinder. Character creation took roughly 1.25 hours, then we played for about 3.75 hours. Because of the fixed stop time, I cut out an encounter, and placed them against a much harder CR encounter for the finale.

    None of the characters chose to make use of the extra trade +1 for an extra -1 option.

    Character Sheets

    Rina, Elven Rogue
    Dex +2, Con -1, Psy +1
    Hp 7 (10 at level 2)
    AC 14 (Leather Armor)

    Skills (* marks where the level 2 rank went at level 2)
    Acrobatics*
    Appraise
    Bluff
    Climb*
    Diplomacy
    Disable Device*
    Escape Artist
    Handle Animal
    Perception*
    Sleight of Hand*
    Stealth*
    Swim

    Attacks

    Longbow, +8, 1d8+2
    Shortsword, +8, 1d6+2
    Dagger, +8, 1d4+2

    Abilities: * marks level 2 choice
    Trapfinding (Archeologist)
    Evasion
    Sneak Attack
    Incredible Acrobatics*

    Gildore, Elven Rogue
    Dex+2
    HP: 8 (12 at level 2)
    AC 15 (Studded Leather)

    Skills
    Acrobatics*
    Appraise
    Bluff
    Climb
    Disable Device
    Escape Artist*
    Knowledge Dungeoneering*
    Perception*
    Sense Motive
    Sleight of Hand*
    Stealth*

    Attacks
    Rapier, +8, 1d6+2
    Sap, +8, 1d6+2
    Shortbow, +8, 1d6+2

    Abilities
    Sneak Attack
    Improved Initiative
    Incredible Sneaking (Burglar)
    Light Steps*

    Bjorgen Burgencronk, Dwarf Warrior
    Str +1, Con +2, Psy -1
    HP: 19 ( 26 at level 2)
    AC 19 (Scale Mail, Heavy Steel Shield, Defending Shield spec)

    Skills
    Climb*
    Craft (Weaponsmith)
    Intimidate*
    Perception*
    Perform(Dance)
    Ride
    Stealth
    Survival*

    Attacks
    Dwarven Waraxe, +7, 1d10+1

    Abilities
    Defending Shield
    Diehard
    Minor Healing
    Cleave*

    Cronkerella, Human Warrior
    Str+1,Dex+2
    HP: 10 (15 at level 2)
    AC 15 (Studded Leather)
    Skills
    Acrobatics*
    Climb*
    Intimidate*
    Knowledge Local
    Perception*
    Ride
    Sense Motive
    Swim

    Attacks
    Longbow, +8, 1d8+2
    Bolas, +8, 1d4+2
    Glaive, +7, 1d10+1

    Abilities
    Fleet
    Frequent Critical x2
    Deadly Aim (Archer Spec)
    Dodge Arrows*

    Eirwyn, Human Wizard
    Int+2, Psy+1
    HP: 6 (14 at level 2)
    AC: 13 (Padded Armor, Ice Armor)

    Skills
    Knowledge Arcana*
    Knowledge Engineering*
    Knowledge Planes*
    Knowledge Religion*
    Linguistics
    Perception
    Spellcraft*

    (Should have had some more skills, didn’t catch it due to time pressure)

    Attacks

    Frost Bolt, +8, 1d6+2

    Abilities

    Frost Bolt (Cryomancer)
    Ice Armor
    Minor Heal
    Amazing Reflexes
    Diehard*

    Encounter 1: Five CR1/4 Bandits, who are taking potshots at an NPC sheriff. Bandits were in two waves, 3 on a 10′ high rocky area in view, then 2 more on a ledge 5 ft down behind them. Characters did not start in sight of the sheriff, so could only hear conversation at first, and see the bandits. Once a character recognized the sheriff, they made short work of the three bandits up top, though one of the rogues was knocked down to 1 hp and hid in bushes. Fight was settled before the melee characters could take a swing, no boosts were used. Feedback after was that this fight was wayyy too easy. The bandits had 5 hp, 14 AC, +3 to hit, 1d6-1 damage with their shortbows, making them approximately kobolds.

    Some roleplaying and skillcheck sections followed in an interlude. They passed up an opportunity to cause some shenanigans, kidnapping and framing someone, and agreed to head to a cave where some “scalies” lived, who had an heirloom sacred to the sheriff’s dead wife.

    Because of time constraints, I had them level up to 2 here, and then placed them up against a much more challenging encounter, so that the sneak attack +5 damage, and some of the critical feats, could be appreciated. The encounter location had the adventurers in a cave, with a 20 foot long, narrow bridge connecting to another cave segment, with water on either side of the bridge. 2 CR1 lizardmen held speakers in the center of the bridge (in the skin of kobolds), 2 CR1 lizardmen were in cover behind stalactites, shooting crossbows (poorly), a CR2 monitor lizard was sneaking up to attack on the bridge but didn’t quite take them by surprise. And, then roughly a CR2 Mage was directing the show, but didn’t directly attack until they started plinking nasty arrows at him. I made his stats up on the fly, AC20, 30 hp, Caster Level 3, with a few magic missiles.

    Cronkerella opened with a shot that almost took out one of the spearman on the bridge; Bjorgen rushed up and finished that one, then almost killed the other with a cleave. Rina finished off the second spearman with a shortbow shot. Gildor used fleet and his full speed stealth to sneak across and then hide very effectively behind the stalactites on the far side. The monitor lizard revealed itself, missed a bite at Bjorgen, then was felled with a combo of the frost bolt and Bjorgen’s axe. This was when Cronkerella challenged the shaman, landing a nasty critical with her bow. Gildor snuck out from behind the stalactites, almost killing the nearby “kobold” with a sneak attack, but then went down quickly, being flanked by the two kobolds. Bjorgen moved closer and used the ranged heal boost to stabilize Gildor, then Rina, who had an RP tie as a protector of Gildor, ran up, dodged past the outermost kobold with acrobatics, and stood defensively over his body.

    Rina went down in the next round of kobold melee, Eirwyn moved up to use the ranged heal on her. Cronkerella felled the closest kobold, while Bjorgen ran up to land a boosted heal on Rina. Over the course of these two rounds, the shaman tossed two magic missile spells (2 missiles each) on Cronkerella, taking her down to 1 hp. In the last round, another arrow from Cronkerella almost finished him, then Bjorgen rushed in to land the killing blow. The remaining kobold surrendered.

    Sequence there isn’t quite accurate, but it’s close enough. Every character was down to 1-2 boosts at the end of this fight. In the aftermath discussion, the group felt that if they’d been more patient in their tactics, they could have finished off this encounter with much less danger, taking better advantage of all their ranged attacks and letting Bjorgen soak the damage.

    Feedback from the playtesters:

    Everyone liked the flexibility of assigning their own class skills.
    There seemed to be too many options for boosting. A suggestion was to either make the boosts very freeform, or to much more greatly limit the options of the boost effects, so that there wasn’t so much decision paralysis.
    Someone suggested making boosts return at a rate of 1 per combat, to encourage people to use them instead of hording them. As it stands, they felt it was hard to justify using them a lot of time, unless they were in a very challenging encounter.

    Frequent Critical, everyone agreed was too powerful, especially since it could be stacked up, and applied to every weapon. Cronkerella was using it with two x3 critical weapons, the longbow and the glaive, and it was very devastating with two stackings of frequent critical. Also, the wording of the ability in the playtest document has several typos: any weapon you wield, not yield; choose the feat multiple times, not teams.

    Expert Defense needs clarification to indicate you have to use this with a melee attack if you make a standard action. The wizard wanted to use it while casting a spell.

    The warriors and wizard felt like they always had plenty of things to do. The rogues didn’t; both felt they didn’t have great options to do interesting things. Part of this was since I had to cut the second encounter I had planned, which had some traps mixed in, but even so, Gildor’s player felt his character was too specialized.

    The huge spread of hp, from those with and without die hard, felt off to me. Similarly, some of the superstacking skill bonuses semed to scale poorly: Gildor had a +17 to his sneak check when moving, for example, and the same bonus when staying still, at level 2.

    The shady theming of the rogue class put off some of the players, who would have been happier playing a spy, or an explorer. Expert was raised as an alternate class name, but the specializations offered really pidgeonholed the players into shady types.

    The limited selection of noncombat feats was noted as a disappointment by the same player.

    Several players felt the Pathfinder monsters were poor matches against the Five Moons characters. CR1’s were the only thing that didn’t seem to fall in a single average blow from the characters, and even the CR1’s were nearly felled by single shots in practice. With the stacking +5’s from abilities, specialized characters could individually be much harder for a monster to deal with than the nonspecialized ones: Bjorgen could have easily stood up to several rounds of the flanking CR1’s, if he had been in the position where the rogues were. General opinion was, if the characters had leveled up to level 3, they would have stomped the second encounter with no trouble.

    The wizard didn’t like the Edritch Focus requirement, with each one being slightly different.

    Players had trouble keeping track of all the class based boost abilities, completely missing the wizard aura boost option during the noncombat section, and only finally remembering the warrior boost option one round into the second encounter.

    Overall, the players are interested in seeing the next incarnation, many of them hope it will have less ties to Pathfinder.

    Like

  19. One comment I forgot to pass on, the racial modifiers for dwarf, elf, were not popular, and seemed out of place compared to the freedom in picking class abilities and skills. You’ve said these will change going forward, so this may be a moot point.

    One player started out thinking, oo, I’ll play a dwarf cleric, then quickly reversed after seeing the psy penalty, and the link of psy to the divine focus. Another player expressed irritation with how people typically picked races in d20 games based on stat modifiers for their chosen classes, instead of for rp reasons.

    Like

    • {Another player expressed irritation with how people typically picked races in d20 games based on stat modifiers for their chosen classes, instead of for rp reasons.}
      I agree with this as well, I dislike being forced to dissuade from playing a race that I want out of flavor/RP reasons, than statistical. Which is why nowadays, I try to work with DM’s to modify my race to make it fitting for the character I wanna play (including ripping out all the stat mods if need be). I recall SKR saying he wasn’t going to have such modifiers for races in beginning of Five Moons, so like the FAQ here as well, I hope he’s sticking with that. Again, if you really NEED to have the numbers there, predicate them on Attribute Allocation, NOT Racial Choice!

      If a race isn’t as interesting without any stat bumps? Then it wasn’t an interesting race to begin with, and redesign it to make it more unique.

      At least a bad race modifier doesn’t cripple you like it does in PF}
      The fact there’s a penalty at all is bad enough, and is going to put races into stereotypes. limiting what they can/can’t play. Sometimes people just want to play Gnoll wizards, Goblin Strongmen, and Minotaur Ninjas. At this point in Fantasy these days, just let people play what they want, and not have the flavor discourage that.

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    • {The fact there’s a penalty at all is bad enough, and is going to put races into stereotypes. limiting what they can/can’t play. Sometimes people just want to play Gnoll wizards, Goblin Strongmen, and Minotaur Ninjas. At this point in Fantasy these days, just let people play what they want, and not have the flavor discourage that.}

      I disagree. That doesn’t stop you from playing those character concepts, especially when a racial penalty doesn’t adversely affect a character as much as it does in Pathfinder. Your stats are more dependent on level rather than your starting score. Additionally, I don’t see anything wrong with racial penalties, in general. It makes sense for a race to have above or below average strength (or other capability) than a typical human.

      Like

      • {I disagree. That doesn’t stop you from playing those character concepts, especially when a racial penalty doesn’t adversely affect a character as much}
        While it obviously won’t stop you, it does discourage, and harm the choice to do so. It forces an inferior option based on a choice what is likely flavor, creating “optimal” racial choices, opposed to choosing them organically. While I can see what you’re saying with Five Moons numbers being smaller, therefore the penalty in theory shouldn’t be as bad (as most of it is coming from your class or like). The fact its there is still bad, its like saying “to get through this door, one has to get face punched, but don’t worry, It’ll be done lightly”. The “severity” of the punch isn’t whats called into question, but the unnecessary measure of having to be punched in general (Mind you, I’m not actually referring to any physical altercation of anyone at all, but a hypothetical example being used for understanding in regards to my point). Now, even when they’re a sack of abilities, that can still maintain the problem of certain racial choices being best for X type of characters. So the difficulty them comes in making racial abilities that are useful for variety of characters, I always enjoyed the Elder Scrolls Argoninan (lizard-men) as example of race w/flavorful abilities.

        {Additionally, I don’t see anything wrong with racial penalties in general. It makes sense for a race}

        Anything can be given a “justification”, doesn’t make the idea itself (or even the rationale) any less bad for doing so. If it doesn’t bother you, then let everyone else have the option, you can always just assign the numbers to the racial stereotype itself if you like. This is a decade long artifact that doesn’t need to be there, especially moving forward with a new, more up to date Fantasy RPG.

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      • To be frank, having race as a game construct DOES define stereotypes. I fail to see it as an inappropriate “artifact” in a game that places a large emphasis on playing people of fantastical heritage. From my experience, the only problems I had with racial penalties stemmed from 3.5e/Pathfinder making characters heavily reliant on their ability scores. That’s a fundamental problem with the system — a problem that Five Moon deliberately mitigates.

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      • {To be frank, having race as a game construct DOES define stereotypes.}

        Well yes, playing a race with its culture and mannerisms commonly associated would be a trope of sorts, the flavor of such shouldn’t beholden the player to it. It can be a nice guide for those who want it (beginner especially), but no need to penalize who wanna go past that. The PC’s are exceptional individuals, and ones that someday grow to become mighty protagonists, they are supposed to be different from the others/stereotypes. So going forward, we should seek to encourage players to be imaginative, and strive against stereotype (though I agree it can be useful to have that stereotype in the flavor for Players to bounce ideas off of if so desired).

        Lastly, personal experience is irrelevant, an issue can easily go unnoticed, or even seen as “design as intended” by a personal view.

        Like

      • I was granting that yes, a Race is pre-written with mannerisms, culture, appearance and so forth, which that is the “stereotype” of that race. Regardless of how exotic or grounded the race is, that is the “typical” member of its race. Usually most of that can just be backstory, flavor that can discarded should a PC want to go beyond stereotype (pending how strongly racial entry enforces it). While I see value in such lore for those who want the direction, or even simply something to bounce ideas off of for their PC, race’s mechanics should be open to play variety of characters, and not just a narrow subset. PC’s are like 1% anomaly among their kind, exceptional and possibly different form their kind. So Goblins not normally Buff warriors, but this one born slightly different to be buffer and/or trained devotedly, An Orc wizard who found fun in learning, than savagry of stealing others to survive. Given SKR likes genetics backstory a little, PC’s being genetic anomalys works, but any number of justifications can be made.

        Now, making racial abilities that necessarily not catered to single character type is Hard, especially with the more races you make. Though I know SKR intends for races to have package options swap out for within a race (so I guess can make any elf of the rainbow), and with Five Archetype-classes, could very have five or more options for each race, if wanted each race to be useful for a given class. Which yeah, still then has the issue that X race combo make the best Rogues or what have you. So the suggestion is for racial abilities to try and make generally useful for mostly any character, and no stat mods to force them into certain type. One of the best race examples I thought, had mix of abilities useful for everyone, was Elder Scrolls Argonian, race of lizardmen.

        { From my experience, the only problems I had with racial penalties stemmed from 3.5e/Pathfinder making characters heavily reliant on their ability scores.}

        Lastly, I was referring to this, stating that personal experience isn’t really relevant to calling out a problem being an issue or not. For its very easy for a problem to go unnoticed, even if its there all along. As a reason why can be seen as “non-issue” is one felt it was designed as intended experience, or went secretly ignored (as in not using the rule at all). So just because your personal experience don’t find it much an issue, doesn’t make it a non-issue. Fact is, design encourages behavior, and if you want people to pick races more on RP, then don’t put stats in the way that encourage that otherwise (“not as bad” doesn’t cut it).

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  20. When you give feedback, please include the following information:
    A) What class, race, and specialization were the PCs?
    B) What levels did you play at?
    C) How long was a typical game session?
    D) Did the automatic and at-will abilities of the heroic feats give the
    PCs enough to do?
    E) What sort of creatures did the PCs fight?
    F) Did they have an easy or hard time with these battles?
    G) Did the players use boosts a lot, or did they try to save them as
    long as possible?
    H) Did everyone have enough interesting abilities to spend their
    boosts on?
    I) Were the class auras helpful?
    J) Did the players and GM have fun?
    K) Did you find anything that was confusing, contradictory, or
    otherwise could be explained better?
    L) Do you have any other suggestions for improving the play
    experience? (Based, of course, on this limited information.)

    ***

    A)
    Human Wizard, Pyro (fire bolt, explosive rune, scorching armor, scattering spell)
    AC 12, HP 6, spell hit +9

    Elven Wizard, Pyro (fire bolt, explosive rune, minor healing)
    AC 11, HP 6, spell hit +8

    Dwarven Warrior, Guardian (defending shield, diehard, cleave)
    AC 19 (scale 5 + shield 4), HP 19, hit +8 (dwarven waraxe)

    Human Rogue, Archeologist (trapfinding, TWF, diehard, incredible healing)
    AC 14 (DEX 2 + leather 2), HP 17, hit +8/+6 TWF (scimitars)

    B) Level 1 only.

    C) We played for about four hours, but went through fights multiple times in various ways. Character creation took each player about an hour, much of which was reading the playtest document. One character (who started out as an archer/healer) I allowed to retcon in the middle of the dungeon because the character concept simply wasn’t working. She had made a wizard with 2 DEX, an elven longbow and Rapid Shot, with a total of +0 martial hit, no bolt spells, and was doing pitifully next to everyone else who had +8 or +9 hit. The problem was equally the lack of martial hit and the state of Rapid Shot. She was able to rebuild her character in less than 5 minutes.

    D) PCs had plenty to do. They had their boost abilities written down, and everyone had several options to boost. No one felt like they didn’t have enough options. Some things could be consolidated, however. Defending shield, for instance, seems redundant. It could offer the same benefit to the player or an adjacent ally in one ability rather than two.

    E) We ran through the Beginner Box. It was handy, familiar and easy to use, doing away with some of my least favorite 3e rules (AoO’s being at the top of that list).

    F) We had an easy time with battles, except of course with the dragon. We ran through each fight about 4 or 5 times, trying different things.
    We made a concerted effort to test the effects of Exploding Rune in combat, and ultimately came to the conclusion that its issue is one of action economy. It isn’t fair to have ER go off and then get your full turn. So if the turn in which ER explodes somehow occupied your turn that round, it seems like it would be ok to allow as a combat spell. Here’s how that went.

    I informed everyone that ER now had a 1 minute cast time. The two wizards immediately asked “Can we boost to make it instant?” One of the uses of boosts seems to be to break the rules of an ability, so it seemed natural to allow it.

    Encounter 1 at the entrance: the PCs became aware they were being watched via a particularly high perception check (25). It was apparent that enemies could only be behind the moss curtain. The two wizards went and placed their instant boosted runes, and immediately the goblins charged through, setting them both off. They blew themselves up in the process, but also nearly killed both wizards, who survived only by resisting half of the damage. There we learned it was a powerful spell, but also very dangerous to use in combat. We repeated that fight in various ways, including just letting the goblins surprise us and beating them down. The difficulty of the fight did not increase from refraining to use ER. It was very easy and quick no matter how we dealt with it, and much less dangerous without ER. We kept the boost usage to the casters throughout these fights for the sake of some continuity, and two boosts proved to be just as powerful when used with Fire Bolts as they were with the instant ERs.

    We opted to try the Goblin King encounter next. We could hear the goblins arguing from the fountain room, so we prepped the area for combat. Two pre-cast ERs and a facepull performed by the rogue, and they were charging at us madly. We left room for the rogue to pass between the traps on a diagonal, and positioned the PCs along the walls of the room so goblins would run over the traps. We knew enough this time to stay out of the blast radius. The first two goblins blew themselves up, leaving three that were dispatched easily. We repeated this scenario multiple times, incuding one where we just rushed in and hacked them all down. The last was the most interesting, with PCs actually taking a couple hits. We kept boost usage to the martials this time for continuity.

    ER is a good tool, but is unfair as stated above due to action economy. It was actually difficult to get the rune to hit more than one goblin at a time, which combined with the resist roll meant it’s damage wasn’t any higher than most other actions. The problem is having it go off and then being able to perform those other actions. We get why you don’t want it to have a combat application. That said, it was fun to use in that way, and if you change your mind, it could be fixed so it doesn’t break action economy. For instance, it could require concentration of sorts, so when it explodes, the caster is forced to spend a boost if they want to perform any actions that round.

    The spider, reefclaw and skeleton fights went similarly. Easy, quick fights no matter how we did them. No real opportunities to even use ER because there wasn’t enough room. About 2 boosts used per fight among the four PCs.

    The dragon fight was very close. Everyone used a boost on just about every round of every attempt we made. Ultimately, we were able to kill it with no deaths (but with lots of damage taken). This was only possible because of the sword.

    G) On boosts. After the first encounter, there was discussion about whether to rest. The party was down 2 boosts, and it was tempting to rest just to get to full resources. However, someone pointed out that it would be more efficient if we rested when everyone was down at least 1 boost. So the group decided they would try to alternate spending boosts between the casters and the martials, both for the sake of continuity through the test and to strategically expend and recover boosts.

    On hit points. There is not a lot of sense of danger knowing that unless you die, you will simply get completely healed. I think some amount of attrition of player resources is a good thing. But I don’t think a time limitation on Minor Healing is the best way to achieve that. Small amounts of time are easy to ignore. How many people actually play out the fact that wands of CLW take 6 seconds per charge? Most people probably just pretend it’s instant healing.

    H) Everyone had plenty of things to spend boosts on.

    I) Class auras are incredibly helpful. The hit reroll in particular allows the PCs to determine the pace of combat and the pace of boost usage. It allows them to take an extra round on easy fights to make sure they have enough for when they need it.

    J) Yes it was very fun! Everyone felt much less at the mercy of the dice and more in control of their own characters and fates. No one died or was in serious danger due to bad luck, only bad decisions. 🙂

    K/L) It seems like one intended use of boosts is to double your damage for the round. However, with TWF and Rapid Shot it isn’t working out that way. Their damage is really low baseline, and boosting them only yields 1 extra point of damage. Assuming +9 hit vs. 15 AC:

    TWF 1st attack: 1d6 +3 x 65% hit = 4.23
    TWF 2nd attack: (1d6 +3 x 65%) /2 = 2.12
    TWF total: 6.35
    Boosted 1st attack: 1d6 +3 x 75% = 4.88
    Boosted 2nd attack: (1d6 +3 x 75%) /2 = 2.44
    Boosted TWF total: 7.32

    The problem is the hit penalty and the damage penalty to the 2nd attack. If both of those penalties were removed, not only would they do more damage (although still far less than the damage done by Cleave), but they would function better too. Currently, other damage feats like Cleave and Fire Bolt allow you to make your 1st attack, and then you can choose to boost a 2nd, whether it’s boosting a missed cleave or getting a bonus fire bolt. This is both tactically advantageous and also promotes more boost usage, since a poor initial result will make the player want another attempt. TWF and RS could work that way with no harm done:

    Hypothetical Boosted TWF: (1d6 +3 x 75%) x2 = 9.76

    Which is identical to a boosted Fire Bolt.

    Compare these to Cleave, the best single damage ability in the test:

    Regular hit: 1d12 +4 x 75% hit = 7.88
    Cleave’s 2nd hit: 1d12 +4 x 56% = 5.88
    Normal Cleave total: 13.76
    Boosted Cleave’s 2nd hit: 1d12 +4 x 75% (boosted hit reroll) = 7.88
    Boosted Cleave total: 15.76

    The boost doubles your regular damage. Also worth noting, luck can make Cleave deal superior damage for no cost. No other single ability can match it.

    I haven’t mathed out how anything stacks up when you start taking multiple damage feats, but it seems like things should be comparable at the foundation, and then be built up with comparable feats. Particularly since the design is to freely choose any feat, making it equal opportunity to stack stuff on Cleave or TWF/RS. Cleave will always be way ahead, and TWF/RS will always be way behind.

    We’re looking forward to the next round of testing! 🙂

    Like

    • I must commend your fairly extensive testing you had done, would’ve been interesting to see what 2nd/3rd level would’ve brought you guys.

      Given Explosive Runes is a 1st-3rd? level ability, I’m not so sure I’m convinced it should be limited. It looks like the way you guys used it, was performing as intended (like a landmine), with creativity (covering the area in flour?), and even teamwork (two allies committed one of their power choices to do this). I suppose the 1min casting time makes sense, Though it’d be a pity, as it’s only then a trap power you can use with prep in mind (no mid-combat use, to help secure your escape for instance). Though any other limitation than casting time I would find to be unnecessary with all the other boost options available for it. It also seemed like the battles were already easy, so if it didn’t change the results much anyway, doesn’t seem all that necessary to change it further.

      For Cleave, the damage while accurate, seems implied you guys were using it to attack the same target twice, opposed to same one? Given it specifies “another opponent”, otherwise I found it a good thing to point out its combined damage being better. I guess the justification for it being half damage, is the fact you can use them to attack the same target, whereas Cleave is only two?

      Lastly, surprised you guys were willing to run the same scenarios so many times, how long each “run” take within the 4 hours? Looks like your groups round of testing was an example of the ideal testing method to employ. Methinks I may seek to mimic that in my own testings (unless future instructions should indicate otherwise of course).

      Like

      • Thanks. We did streamline some things. We only concerned ourselves with the fights, for instance, rather than actually playing the adventure. The fights individually weren’t very long, either. 1-3 rounds on average. We didn’t run the whole thing over multiple times, we just reset the fight we had just done if anyone wanted to try something differently. Each one took 5-10 minutes, depending on how long it took to kill things.

        Mostly we did it this way because we felt like we were just humoring ourselves by testing Explosive Rune, and felt like we should test it “for real” too. 🙂

        On Cleave: no, we weren’t cleaving the same target twice. I only wanted to point out theoretical damage potential. And you’re right that while it is a useless ability against a single enemy, it is still better overall. You deal much better damage when you can cleave, and still a tiny bit better when you can’t. The damage per round fluctuates a lot depending on the encounter, but the total damage done throughout the whole adventure is still a lot higher.

        And while it’s a theoretical assessment, I don’t know of a better way to do it. If I’m doing it wrong, I’d be happy to learn better. I honestly hate math and making it work for me is like pulling teeth. 🙂

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      • I think I have a solution for Cleave (at least, it fixes what’s wrong in my opinion):

        Cleave: When you kill an opponent on your first hit in a round, deal the remainder of your damage roll to an adjacent opponent (no roll required).
        Boost: Add +3 to your damage roll.
        Boost: If your first attack hits, rather than dealing overkill damage, you can instead choose to make a second attack against an adjacent opponent. This attack cannot deal overkill damage.

        This would allow Cleave to deal consistent damage regardless of how many opponents there are in an encounter, making it usefull against single opponents. It still deals higher damage without boosting, maintains the ability to deal better damage against multiple targets, but is limited by costing a boost instead of being baseline.

        Like

      • You’re quite welcome, I thank ye for the analysis.

        [ think I have a solution for Cleave (at least, it fixes what’s wrong in my opinion) ]

        It has the problem of being calculated as then you have to recalculate how much HP difference after the fact. While the DM/Player using cleave should be aware, it certainly does add a complication that Five Moons would want to avoid I’d think. It’s vaguely like 4E’s Cleave At-will in fact, albeit the auto-damage isn’t static. I also find the one hit requirement is a bit strict, as can’t use TWF, or Rapid Shot w/it (which seems the point). It seems ye could do better just having it be a “once per round” type effect, phrased more like “first time kill/KO an opponent in a round” type deal. I could then see the boost being to up the adjacent damage, and I somewhat like the idea of a “2nd cleave” with a boost, where ye make an additional attack, that also can auto-damage (obvious “abuse” there being if ye can then place that adjacent damage on the last guy you did auto-cleave damage to). Though definitely want to avoid minor complications if nothing else.

        Regardless, I’d prefer Cleave more to its 3e form of being a passive ability, opposed to something ye have to declare. Though it can really depend what other Area attack powers Warriors get down the line.

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      • Oh, I see. I’ll see if I can play with it a bit and see how it rolls. In my head, I originally modeled all attacks as either martial attacks or spell attacks with ranged and melee being sub-types. This went with my presumption that not all attacks do damage — I could see Five Moons model combat maneuvers as melee martial attacks just as a ray of enfeeblement-like spell would require a ranged spell attack. However, reducing it to three types based on the implement used makes a lot of sense to me. If established well in the rules, it makes it more obvious when a bonus might apply, which was something not always clear in 3rd Edition.

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  21. I like the idea of encapsulating magic item creation into abilities this way, like Brew Potion. I can picture a higher level version of Brew Potion might let you create a permanent potion at the cost of some gold. No need for long complicated rules on how magic item creation works, and it feels like you get something more than a gold discount on magic items. Craft Magic Arms and Armor would have been a lot more fun if it gave you a greater magic item SLA or let you cast it spontaneously. That would have been great as I’ve always been the type to take magic item creation feats for the sake of flavor.

    Though, I did have one character that enjoyed making cheap magic items for utility. For example, she had a specialized bag of holding for every occasion, such as one for taking prisoners, one for ferrying bodies, one for hiding macguffins and items from authorities, and one for disposing of dangerous artifacts by way of puncturing the bag. It cost a lot of money for all these and she rarely got to use them. But it was great fun playing a character so paranoid that she became a walking toolbox.

    Like

  22. Five Moons RPG
    Living Playtest
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Required Information

    A) Elf Rogue with Assassin Specialty, Dwarf Warrior with Brute Specialty, and Human Wizard with Pyromancer Specialty, and Elf Warrior with Archer Specialty
    B) We started at Level 1 and played all the way through Level 3 multiple times. Each time we ran a different adventure
    C) Approx. 2-3 hours
    D) The Heroic Feats and At-Will Abilities gave my players a lot to do. It was really good to see some of the classic feats get reimagined to something useful
    E) They fought things like undead, orcs, goblins, kobolds, humanoid NPC’s, and some random monsters in between
    F) The ease of battles varied but not of them were too difficult, there was a few almost deaths – encounters at low levels and especially first level are always tricky but with the Mastery it really gave the players a lot more options in combat
    G) Most of the players used the boosts pretty regularly. Every once in awhile someone would try to hold on to them for extended amounts of time
    H) They seemed too
    I) The Class Auras were helpful, they really helped round out the class
    J) Tons of fun, we are still running playtest sessions as we speak
    K) See notes below
    L) See notes below

    Ability Scores

    We really liked what you did with the ability scores. It makes a lot of sense and flows better. It also cuts down on math and tedious number crunching

    Racial Ability Adjustments

    The placement of the bonuses work fine though we did not like the races having a negative modifier. This has been a recurring issue in many games systems throughout the years. We do not think that a player should be punished for choosing a race other than Human. After the first four sessions we started using the following without issue; Dwarf +1 CON , Elf +1 DEX, and Human +1 to any ability score of your choice.

    Skills

    It has always been a spot of difficulty for having an additional point system for skills. This creates unnecessary number keeping and complexity to the characters. With the information we have from the playtest files, we suggest the following; each class gets X amount of class skills and those class skills provide a automatic +5 bonus to the skill. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels. This seems to work and integrate really well with all of the other feats and stunts that add to skill checks in our playtest. It also keeps down unnecessary number bloat
    We sincerely hope there is a set number of skills like in PF (and does not go the “skill for everything route”)

    Feats

    We enjoyed the feat choices and really enjoyed how you re-imagined some of the classic feats that a lot of us never liked as written in previous games. We were hoping to see a feat to allow the Mage to wear armor and retain his Spell Bonus

    Spells

    The boosts for spells are great! Gave more flexibility to each spell

    Because of the different and more fluid magic system, we think the core effects of spells should be scale as the character increases by level. There would be a limit to this scaling based on the level of the original spell so lower level spells would not steal the thunder of higher level spells but still show the characters increase in power

    Stunts

    A lot of the stunts were fun added flare to skills
    We did find a lack of stunts that produced some of the classical Rogue abilities or the stunts that improved on or changed how sneak attack and stealth works

    Boosts

    We all really enjoyed the boosts. It is like having a set of more flexible Action/Hero/Cinematic points
    There was confusion on how many Boosts per day or per rest each player should have

    Auras

    This was a great class feature and gave a real uniqueness to each class

    We were turn if the Auras should be shared by other players in 100ft. per the RAW. On one hand it created same amazing teamwork effort and moments where the Wizard was able to draw on the fighters ability for fear and so forth which was great but it also takes away on the uniqueness of the class. We are on the fence about this aspect.

    Rogue

    Assuming there are more classes starting health Health 8 + CON and 5 + Con per level. If these are going to be the only three classes then starting Health 10 + CON and 6 + CON per level

    It would greatly benefit the class to start putting bonuses in a secondary save to be scaled as the class progresses. This could start as a +1 to Will or Fort. Maybe give this class an option of secondary to choose and then at way later levels add a small bonus to the final save

    Warrior

    Assuming there are more classes starting health Health 10 + CON and 6 + Con per level. If these are going to be the only three classes then starting Health 12 + CON and 7 + CON per level

    It would greatly benefit the class to start putting bonuses in a secondary save to be scaled as the class progresses. This could start as a +1 to Ref or Will. Maybe give this class an option of secondary to choose and then at way later levels add a small bonus to the final save

    Wizard

    Assuming there are more classes starting health Health 6 + CON and 4 + Con per level. If these are going to be the only three classes then starting Health 8 + CON and 5 + CON per level

    It would greatly benefit the class to start putting bonuses in a secondary save to be scaled as the class progresses. This could start as a +1 to Ref or Fort. Maybe give this class an option of secondary to choose and then at way later levels add a small bonus to the final save

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  23. I forgot to include how we handled the BAB stuff…Here is what we ended up coming to a conclusion on;

    STR increases to hit/damage for Melee
    DEX increases to hit/damage for Ranged and adds to AC
    INT increases to hit/damage for Spells
    PSY used for social situations and variant classes spells to hit/damage

    I would like to try to figure out a different formula for Dex bonus to AC. It makes Dex a super stat. Maybe Armor Bonus can be a mix of INT and DEX. So, something like [AC Formula Starting Number + AC + Shield + DEX (Max 2) + INT (Max 2)] – or something like that. Just shooting from the hip here.

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    • It looks like you can apply Dexterity to attack rolls and damage with finesse weapons.

      Isn’t INT also used for skills?

      I don’t think you have a BAB anymore. Your martial bonus is basically your BAB now.

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      • I know there is no BAB now. At the time of my comments – I could not think of what it was called I kept wanting to say Martial Mastery but that was the Warrior ability.

        I also forget about the finesse weapon thing

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  24. Pingback: Building Your Own Custom Race | Five Moons RPG

  25. Unfortunately it’s unlikely I’ll be able to really test this with a group any time soon, most people I play with aren’t too interested in trying out new systems.

    The name “Wizard” for the class causes some concern, as it appears to be the primary spell casting class but can branch out with the Eldritch Focus into something very different from what might be considered typical notions of the studious arcanist draped in robes and carting around ancient tomes.

    Maybe “Mage” instead? If the class can slant into something reminiscent of D&D Sorcerers, Clerics, and Wizards then a more general name would be more congruous.

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    • “Wizard” is a word that’s learned early on (much earlier than “mage” or “sorcerer”), and has many different meanings in different contexts. Just because a Five Moons wizard could be something very different than a stereotypical D&D wizard, or Harry Potter wizard, or a Lankhmar white wizard, or Merlin-type wizard (who had a lot of abilities we’d consider druidic) doesn’t mean we should call a Five Moons wizard by a different name. 🙂

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      • True, true, hadn’t looked at it like that before. I imagine I’ll still end up having to explain it a fair amount, but I’ll save your comment above for such times as it will be succinct and effective. 😛

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  26. A thought that came to mind, For higher level upgraded versions of powers/Feats, how do you plan to name them? I imagine for example “Brew Potion”, might do “Brew Potion II”, opposed to pluralizations, as that’ll get mucky quick (Brews, Brewing, Brewery, etc), and confusing if they get completely different names (Upgrade of Brew Potion becomes “Potion Maker”, Potion Brewery, or Concoct Pancea, etc.). I’m not sure what a good solution to this might be, I certainly imagine some powers may get a name changer to fit their obsolete nature. Possibly just getting replaced by better superpowers (who needs FF Dragon Leaps when you have equivalent to consistent Flight?).

    {It’s a fine line to walk… you want the rogue to be better at skill things than anyone, and one way to do that is to give them more access to the stunts that improve feats. If you instead make the [Incredible] feats basic (non-feat) aspects of the skills themselves, you’re taking away something that the rogue is inherently good at.}

    I agree it can be a bit vague to figure out, needing to see the common interactions of skills, and how often situations would come up. I think one of the firstmost issues with the current Stunts, is that they’re too Granular. Both the Boost options, and the very selection for powers in general (Inc-Riding, Inc-Escaping, Inc-Handling, Crawler, & Light Steps for example). There’s a power for Riding AND Handling?, a power for being intimidating AND a very brief power about being intimidating in Combat?, and arguably Light Step & Inc-Stealthy seem a little redundant, but Light-steps seems to maintain a place (Move-Silent/Hide paradigm split I know).

    Secondly, you can still give general functions in skills, and still maintain unique uses for the Rogue to use. Last three Boost benefits for Inc-Climb are unique for instance, whereas bonus to climb, and double speed aren’t as compelling. Covering an ally in stealth, Auto-Evasion/cover an ally, Walking across fluids, are good examples of interesting unique abilities that gives Boosts a great name.

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