Ugglefar
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Joined: Thu 04 Aug 2016, 21:17

Some feedback on the beta

Thu 23 Jul 2020, 20:36

Firstly I want to start with saying I'm very excited for this project. Symbaroum is one of my favourite settings, but my friends that I play with are not keen on having to learn yet another rule system (We play D&D 5e and Coriolis). While reading through the PDF a few things come to mind, but I will have to see how it works out when we play it in my group.

- I think you have made a really good job with the Mystic class. I have myself been playing around with how to implement the Corruption mechanic to 5e OGL, and your concept is much better than any of my ideas.

- Your decisions on what spells are on the edge of being dark sorcery or not seems a little arbitrary. When I look at the spells for the wizard Burning Hands and Fireball are considered on the edge of being dark sorcery, but Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray are not. Yet all of these spells create fire to do damage. Personally I don't see why fire is considered dark sorcery.

- Personally I don't like the system of your hit points being dependent on your race instead of your class. I do see the logic behind this (goblins are smaller and should thus be less resilient than humans), but balance wise and for the game mechanics I think it is better to follow the standard 5e OGL way of determining HP from class. I think a better way to give some minor differences between the races is to play around with the ability scores, perhaps give goblins -1 to Constitution. This opinion was also expressed by one of my players who has read the PDF.

- The text explaining what happens when you exceed your Corruption threshold could be made a little clearer. I think I get how it works with the 5e OGL rules, but for someone that is completely new to Symbaroum this might be a little confusing, especially when you roll on the Corruption table.

- I do not know if there is a big need for making very different classes of the none spellcasters in the game, such as the Fighter/Warrior or Scoundrel/Rogue. But I am curious to see how it end up. But mind you that the classes in D&D 5e have had a lot of players testing out those classes, and they seem relatively balanced and popular.

- Concerning the Warrior I like that you have kept Action Surge. I know that it has been criticised for being "simple" or "boring", but I think that it is good to have simple mechanics in a game as well. If you have a class let the class mechanics be simple, for the players that want more advanced options these could easily be incorporated in a subclass/approach. Just compare the Battle Master and Champion subclasses from D&D 5e.

Lastly I am really impressed with what I have seen so far, and I cannot wait to see the finished product.
 
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Jacob Rodgers
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Re: Some feedback on the beta

Fri 24 Jul 2020, 14:41

Thanks so much for the feedback! It's extraordinarily helpful.
- Your decisions on what spells are on the edge of being dark sorcery or not seems a little arbitrary. When I look at the spells for the wizard Burning Hands and Fireball are considered on the edge of being dark sorcery, but Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray are not. Yet all of these spells create fire to do damage. Personally I don't see why fire is considered dark sorcery.
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Unfavorable spells aren't necessarily dark sorcery, just ones that are poorly understood or hard to manage (or on the edge of dark sorcery). Of course, some of this is game balance stuff (we really don't want people throwing fireballs around wily-nily) but as we continue to look at things we might be able to standardize a bit more on what we think is unfavorable and what is not.
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- Personally I don't like the system of your hit points being dependent on your race instead of your class. I do see the logic behind this (goblins are smaller and should thus be less resilient than humans), but balance wise and for the game mechanics I think it is better to follow the standard 5e OGL way of determining HP from class. I think a better way to give some minor differences between the races is to play around with the ability scores, perhaps give goblins -1 to Constitution. This opinion was also expressed by one of my players who has read the PDF.
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Excellent feedback. We anticipate that the racial Hit Dice will remain optional as it is in the sampler product. 5e doesn't like giving negative modifiers to ability scores, but hopefully the other features will help distinguish goblins from humans from ogres from others.
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The text explaining what happens when you exceed your Corruption threshold could be made a little clearer. I think I get how it works with the 5e OGL rules, but for someone that is completely new to Symbaroum this might be a little confusing, especially when you roll on the Corruption table.
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Thank you. The Corruption mechanics continue to evolve with each release (we tried to improve the language between the beta shown to the KS backers and the general release) and will continue to do so. Thanks for letting us know we still have opportunities here.
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I do not know if there is a big need for making very different classes of the none spellcasters in the game, such as the Fighter/Warrior or Scoundrel/Rogue. But I am curious to see how it end up. But mind you that the classes in D&D 5e have had a lot of players testing out those classes, and they seem relatively balanced and popular.
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I think that there's a couple of goals in the development teams' collective minds here. First, the idea that someone should be able to 'recreate' a beloved character from one system to another, which having archetypes and classes have easy correspondences helps with. The other is that there's always room in the 5e design space to do something that fills a space, especially if it helps bring the setting to life. We do agree with you that the core classes are strong examples of 5e's balance and you'll likely see many of our classes taking direct inspiration from the core classes, because they are well known to be balanced and fun to play.
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Lastly I am really impressed with what I have seen so far, and I cannot wait to see the finished product.
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Thanks! Hopefully we'll be able to talk more about future plans soonish. :)
 
Ugglefar
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Joined: Thu 04 Aug 2016, 21:17

Re: Some feedback on the beta

Fri 24 Jul 2020, 18:32

- Unfavorable spells aren't necessarily dark sorcery, just ones that are poorly understood or hard to manage (or on the edge of dark sorcery). Of course, some of this is game balance stuff (we really don't want people throwing fireballs around wily-nily) but as we continue to look at things we might be able to standardize a bit more on what we think is unfavorable and what is not.
Then I see, I just got confused when I saw kind of a theme of fire spells being dark sorcery like, but there were still fire spells that seemed okay. Too bad, I love pyromancers. :D

Excellent feedback. We anticipate that the racial Hit Dice will remain optional as it is in the sampler product. 5e doesn't like giving negative modifiers to ability scores, but hopefully the other features will help distinguish goblins from humans from ogres from others.
I saw that you gave all the classes a Hit Dice of D8. Is this to intentionally make it more streamlined across the classes? The fighting (Paladin, Fighter, Ranger) classes in D&D 5e usually have a Hit Dice of D10 (Barbarian D12), while the "mid classes" (Monk, Druid, Cleric, Bard, Warlock, Rogue) have a Hit Dice of D8. Wizard and Sorcerer have a Hit Dice of D6. I am curious about the decision of keeping the same Hit Dice across the different classes.

I think that there's a couple of goals in the development teams' collective minds here. First, the idea that someone should be able to 'recreate' a beloved character from one system to another, which having archetypes and classes have easy correspondences helps with. The other is that there's always room in the 5e design space to do something that fills a space, especially if it helps bring the setting to life. We do agree with you that the core classes are strong examples of 5e's balance and you'll likely see many of our classes taking direct inspiration from the core classes, because they are well known to be balanced and fun to play.
Ah yes, I didn't take into consideration that unique classes would help with converting characters between the rule systems.
 
Ugglefar
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 04 Aug 2016, 21:17

Re: Some feedback on the beta

Sat 25 Jul 2020, 22:12

Some additional feedback:

I like your classes so far, and I have some comments concerning the Warrior.
  • I really like the new fighting styles, especially the Polearm Fighting. However, I think that it can written a little bit clearer. As it is written now it says "When wielding a polearm you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on a melee attack roll". I assume that this applies to someone trying to attack you and they are standing just 5 feet away? Or is the use broader?
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  • I like Shield Fighting, even though it kind of overlaps with the feat Shield Master. In my group we usually don't use feats, so for us it wouldn't be a problem, but I can see how for some groups this would make Shield Fighting redundant.
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  • Battle Wind seems a little too strong, it's essentially a better version of Second Wind. I assume this is done since the Warrior in Symbaroum has less total HP than a Fighter in D&D, but that you can heal yourself multiple times in one and the same fight seems a little strong. I personally like the feeling of Second Wind, where its one use per short rest makes you have to think about when you really should use it.
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  • I like the design of the knight class. That you have two different "abilities" (Bodyguard and Two-Handed Force) that favour two different weapon sets gives the Approach some depth. I find it boring when a subclass is so narrow that you are more or less forced to use a very specific type of weapon. Also, even if you would use Bodyguard to protect someone when you are not using a shield you are a knight after all; you should be able to afford better armour than most, so your AC should most probably be higher than the one you are protecting. A big reason why knights started to use shields less and less anyway is that the improvements in armour throughout the centuries made the use of a shield not as important as before.
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  • Lastly, the Knight's Two-Handed Force specifies "if you are wielding a heavy melee weapon..." From what I can see all weapons that have the Heavy property also have the Two-Handed property, but perhaps this should be stated in the text to Two-Handed Force as well?
 
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Jacob Rodgers
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Joined: Tue 16 Jun 2020, 16:41
Location: Georgia, USA
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Re: Some feedback on the beta

Sat 25 Jul 2020, 23:15

Some additional feedback:

I like your classes so far, and I have some comments concerning the Warrior.
  • I really like the new fighting styles, especially the Polearm Fighting. However, I think that it can written a little bit clearer. As it is written now it says "When wielding a polearm you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on a melee attack roll". I assume that this applies to someone trying to attack you and they are standing just 5 feet away? Or is the use broader?
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Any melee attack roll would qualify. Almost always that's going to be someone within five feet, but if a creature has reach then, well, you do too. :)
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  • I like Shield Fighting, even though it kind of overlaps with the feat Shield Master. In my group we usually don't use feats, so for us it wouldn't be a problem, but I can see how for some groups this would make Shield Fighting redundant.
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One of the interesting things about third-party SRD-based development is that most of the feats don't 'exist' (i.e. they're not available for us to reference or use directly). In future releases any feats will almost certainly be built from the ground up to support the Symbaroum setting.
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  • Battle Wind seems a little too strong, it's essentially a better version of Second Wind. I assume this is done since the Warrior in Symbaroum has less total HP than a Fighter in D&D, but that you can heal yourself multiple times in one and the same fight seems a little strong. I personally like the feeling of Second Wind, where its one use per short rest makes you have to think about when you really should use it.
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This is something that has received a lot of feedback and we'll certainly continue to work on the class features. Some important considerations remain — as you correctly identified earlier the Warrior class doesn't have as many hp as the Fighter class (especially if you're using racial HD) and we still want Warriors to be front-line characters. Also, temporary hp doesn't work like regular hp. It doesn't stack so using it in rapid succession is a non-starter. We might look at adding a time-limit as well, since it represents the Warrior's ability to steel themselves in the heat of battle.
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  • I like the design of the knight class. That you have two different "abilities" (Bodyguard and Two-Handed Force) that favour two different weapon sets gives the Approach some depth. I find it boring when a subclass is so narrow that you are more or less forced to use a very specific type of weapon. Also, even if you would use Bodyguard to protect someone when you are not using a shield you are a knight after all; you should be able to afford better armour than most, so your AC should most probably be higher than the one you are protecting. A big reason why knights started to use shields less and less anyway is that the improvements in armour throughout the centuries made the use of a shield not as important as before.
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Excellent considerations.
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  • Lastly, the Knight's Two-Handed Force specifies "if you are wielding a heavy melee weapon..." From what I can see all weapons that have the Heavy property also have the Two-Handed property, but perhaps this should be stated in the text to Two-Handed Force as well?
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Good point. We'll take a look at that, to avoid any potential weirdness.

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