Monday, September 28, 2015

One Character, Nine Systems: Part 10

Last week, I proposed an experiment of generating the same character in nine different editions/variations of the D&D game. In the first post we introduced Junco Eliade, now it's time to give him some crunch. In this iteration we'll use:

Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition

The 5th edition of the Dungeons and Dragons, sometimes referred to as D&D Next, is the latest offering in the D&D line. It draws heavily on its predecessors (backgrounds similar to 2nd-edition Kits, multi-classing like 3rd edition, class-independent attack and skill advancement similar to 4th) while also introducing some new mechanics (most especially the idea of rolling with Advantage). In all cases, the focus of 5th edition appears to be simplicity and eliminating the number-bloat seen in previous versions. The focus on simplicity means that, among other things, there are only three books of rules for 5th edition: the Players Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual, of which, only the PHB has rules relevant to building a character. 

Race: Dwarf, Hill
5th edition allows two subraces for player character dwarves: Hill dwarves and Mountain dwarves. Both subraces use the same base statistics with only a few minor variations between the two. In deference to earlier iterations of Junco, this incarnation will also be a Hill Dwarf.
Class: Cleric 3rd
5th edition allows multi-classing in a manner similar to 3rd edition, with the character being allowed to select at each "character level" which level to take in any class. However, 5th edition introduces ability requirements for multi-classing. In order to multi-class in 5th edition, you must have a score of 13 in the primary ability score of both your current and desired classes. In this case, in order to multiclass as a Cleric/Fighter, Junco would need a score of 13 in both Strength and Wisdom, of which he meets neither. Since Cleric has been his dominant focus in previous versions, the 5th-edition incarnation of Junco will be a single-classed Cleric.
Character Level: 3rd
Minimum XP: 900
5th edition has the lowest experience requirements to reach 3rd level of any edition of D&D yet published (a full order of maginitude lower than most).
Alignment:  Lawful Neutral
Hit Dice: 3d8 (+12)
In addition to being rolled to determine hit points at each level, Hit Dice fill a much larger role in 5th edition. Each character has a number of Hit Dice (equal to those gained from his class levels) which he can use as a pool of healing each day, similar to the Healing Surges in 4th edition. Any time the character takes a "short rest" (1 hour break from adventuring) he can choose to roll 1 or more Hit Dice and heal that amount of hit points. Junco, as a 3rd-level Cleric, has 3 8-sided hit dice, which he can choose to use all at once, or split up among up to 3 short rests. Once Hit Dice have been used, the character must get a full night's sleep ("Long Rest") before he can heal in this way again.
Average Hit Points:  30
  • Str: 9 -- -1 modifier
  • Dex: 16  -- +3 modifier
  • Con: 17 -- +3 modifier
  • Int: 16 -- +3 modifier
  • Wis: 12 -- +1 modifier
  • Cha: 8 -- -1 modifier
Hill Dwarves in 5th edition gain a +2 bonus to Constitution and a +1 bonus to Wisdom. While his abilitt scores may have hampered his effectiveness in the past, 5th edition is the first edition where Junco's scores specifically prevent him from obtaining the desired classes (because of the limitations/requirements placed on multi-classing).
 Dwarf Abilities:  
  1. Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feel. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
  2. Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  3. Dwarven Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance (half damage) against poison damage.
  4. Dwarven Combat Training. You have proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer, and warhammer.
  5. Dwarven Toughness. Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a leveI.
  6. Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the artisan's tools of your choice: smith's tooIs, brewer's supplies, or mason's tools.
  7. Stone cunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
  8. Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Dwarvish. 

                                                                      Cleric Abilities:
                                                                          1. Proficiencies:
                                                                            • Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
                                                                            • Weapons: All simple weapons
                                                                            • Tools: None
                                                                            • Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
                                                                            • Skills: Choose two from History, lnsight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion
                                                                          2. Cleric Spells:  Save DC 11, Spell attack modifier +3, Prepare 4 spells.
                                                                            • Know 3 Cantrips
                                                                            • Cast 4 1st-level spells per day
                                                                            • Cast 2 2nd-level spells per day
                                                                          3. Divine Domain: At 1st level, the cleric must select a Domain -- area of specialization. Since Junco's has historically been a scholar, he will use the Knowledge domain.
                                                                            • Domain Spells: These spells are always treated as being prepared, in addition to the 4 he can prepare freely.
                                                                              • 1st level: Command, Identify
                                                                              • 2nd level: Augury, Suggestion
                                                                            • Blessings of Knowledge: At 1st leveI, you learn two languages of your choice. You also become proficient in your choice of two of the following skills: Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those skills.
                                                                          4. Channel Divinity:  At 2nd level, clerics gain the ability to channel divine energy directly from their deity, using that energy to fuel magical effects. You start with two such effects: Turn Undead and an effect determined by your domain. When you use your Channel Divinity. you choose which effect to create. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Channel Divinity again. Some Channel Divinity effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your c1eric spell save DC.
                                                                            • Turn Undead: As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring the undead. Each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can't take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
                                                                            • Knowledge of the Ages: Starting at 2nd leveI, you can use your Channel Divinity to tap into a divine well of knowledge. As an action, you choose one skill or tool. For 10 minutes, you have proficiency with the chosen skill or too1.
                                                                          5th edition focuses heavily on the idea of Proficiencies. Every character has a "Proficiency Bonus" based on their level (+2 at 1st level, +3 at 5th, +4 at 9th, +5 at 13th, and +6 at 17th or higher). All rolls (attacks, saves, skills, etc.) basically boil down to an ability check on a d20, with or without this proficiency bonus--generally with no other modifiers. Thus a large number of abilities can be easily summed up by simply identifying whether the character is proficient or not.

                                                                          Spellcasting in 5th edition is a little more flexible than previous editions. First, the character has a number of cantrips (0th-level spells) which he knows and can cast at will. In addition, he gains a number of spell slots of various levels determined by his class level. These slots can be used to cast any spells he has prepared of that level or lower (using a 2nd-level slot to cast a 1st-level spell will typically increase the power of that spell beyond its basic parameters), without needing to assign prepared spells to specific slots ahead of time. Clerics are able to prepare a number of spells equal to their cleric level plus their Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), of any level(s) they have access to. As a Cleric, Junco's Save DCs and attack bonus for his spells are based on his Wisdom as well, meaning that while his low Wisdom does not prevent him from using his Clerical spells, it does somewhat hamper him. Also, some spells are defined as "rituals". These spells can be cast at will, without expending a spell slot, so long as the character has them prepared and spends an extra 10 minutes casting them.

                                                                          Background Abilities:  Sage
                                                                          Backgrounds are a new feature in 5th edition, but very similar to the Kits in AD&D 2nd edition. Each character selects a Background (in addition to his Race and Class) which gives him a small number of additional proficiencies (in skills, tools, or languages) plus one additional special ability or feature which can aid the character in role-playing encounters. In keeping with his role as a scholar, Junco has selected the "Sage" background.

                                                                          • Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History
                                                                          • Languages: Two of your choice.
                                                                          • Researcher: When you attempt to learn or recall a piece of lore, if you do not know that information, you often know where and from whom you can obtain it. Usually, this information comes from a library, scriptorium, university, or a sage or other learned person or creature. Your DM might rule that the knowledge you seek is secreted away in an almost inaccessible place, or that it simply cannot be found. Unearthing the deepest secrets of the multiverse can require an adventure or even a whole campaign.
                                                                          Note that, with the 2 bonus languages from his Background, Junco will know 6 total languages (2 from his race, 2 from his "Blessings of Knowledge" ability, and 2 from his background.

                                                                          Attack Rolls:  varies

                                                                          Attack rolls in 5th edition, like everything else, are ability checks (with or without proficiency). Most melee weapon attacks are Strength-based checks, with the proficiency bonus applied if the character is proficient with the weapon in question. Missile weapons are Dexterity-based. Many spells also call for attack rolls, these will use the "Spell attack modifier" listed above (Wisdom + Proficiency in Junco's case).

                                                                          Saving Throws:
                                                                          • Strength: -1
                                                                          • Dexterity: +3
                                                                          • Constitution: +3
                                                                          • Intelligence: +3
                                                                          • Wisdom: +3
                                                                          • Charisma: +1
                                                                          Saving throws in 5th edition, like everything else, are ability checks (with or without proficiency) and thus map directly to the six ability scores. Each class is proficient with 2 of the six types of saving throws. Non-proficient saving throws will generally never improve except by increasing the ability score in question.

                                                                          Skills in 5th edition are based on Proficiency (see above). All skills can be used by any character, either as an ability check, or ability + proficiency check. In addition, some "skills" (especially crafting) are represented by proficiency with the tools (rather than a "skill"), so a character attempting to craft a potion would make a check against his "Alchemists' tools" proficiency.

                                                                          • Acrobatics (Dex): +3
                                                                          • Animal Handling (Wis): +1
                                                                          • Arcana (Int†): +5
                                                                          • Athletics (Str): -1
                                                                          • Deception (Cha): -1
                                                                          • History (Int†): +5
                                                                          • Insight (Wis†): +3
                                                                          • Intimidation (Cha): -1
                                                                          • Investigation (Int): +3
                                                                          • Medicine (Wis†): +3
                                                                          • Nature (Int†): +7
                                                                          • Perception (Wis): +1
                                                                          • Performance (Cha): -1
                                                                          • Persuasion (Cha): -1
                                                                          • Religion (Int†): +7
                                                                          • Sleight of Hand (Dex): +3
                                                                          • Stealth (Dex): +3
                                                                          • Survival (Wis): +1
                                                                          † Skills with which Junco is proficient. 

                                                                          Junco gets double his proficiency bonus to Nature and Religion checks from his Blessings of Knowledge ability.

                                                                          Feats in 5th edition are optional and work very similarly to those in 3rd or 4th edition, but are gained at a much slower rate. Non-human characters do not get a proficiency at 1st level, and will typically not gain access to such until 4th level or later (this is variable depending on their class). As a 3rd-level Dwarven Cleric, Junco has no feats.

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