Thursday, June 19, 2014

D&D 5e Character Sheet

Well, the new character sheet from fifth edition D&D Starter Set is here.

It's supposed to be easy for noobs to read and understand at a glance.  Is it?  What do you think?

I know I'm number challenged some of the time and I've only read a few of the playtest packets, but I'm also trying to look at this through novice eyes.

I'm not sure how the proficiency bonus interacts with the ability scores and/or skills.  Why is the phrase "Saving Throws" at the bottom of the ability score bonuses - because they are the saving throw bonuses?  If that's true, then is there no other purpose to ability score bonuses besides saving throws?  That would be my inference.

I assume there's a +2 to Constitution on the far left and then a +4 Constitution on the bonus because of the proficiency bonus... does that mean it only grants a bonus to some Constitution-based rolls?  Assuming a Fighter starts 1st level with a full 10 hit points, does the extra con bonus not count for hp?  Why is the Hit Dice in a different box than the Current Hit Points?

Skills look fairly straightforward, your ability score bonus (I guess there is another reason for calculating them beyond saving throws) + the proficiency bonus + a d20 versus some arbitrary challenge rating, right?  Or, instead of the proficiency bonus is that a separate +2 skill bonus for the skills the character chose?  Wizards could learn a thing or two from the old Vampire: the Masquerade character sheets which give the actual numbers and choices a player had available.

Regarding Armor Class, the fighter is wearing Chain mail +1 for his Fighting Style (Defense) bonus -1 for his Dexterity (which should cancel each other out).  So, that means Chain mail armor gives you a +7 to Armor Class assuming the base is 10... can that be right?  If so, what's Plate mail?  +11?

+5 for an attack bonus, huh?  That's quite a bit for a starting character.  But only +3 for damage?  Why the discrepancy?  Is this character using his Greataxe two-handed for the extra damage (1d12... I heard from some guy named Venger that the Trident only does 1d6 one handed.  1d6!?!  Can you believe that shit?)?  I assume so, but don't have a clue just from looking over the sheet.

Now that I look at it, the "Death Saves" box looks a little tedious.  Wouldn't a single roll just be easier?  Isn't this 1st level padding simply coddling the PCs - which is directly opposed to old school D&D?

As for the Second Wind feat or whatever it's called, just how limited is this well of stamina?  Bonus action?  When, where, and how do I get bonus actions?

While I see a lot of good things here, I'm worried about the confusion factor.  If this was a grade school math test I'd write on this with red pen:  Show your work, please!   C+