itmeJP Community


Court of Swords Changes


(Twitch: eyearcana) #1

Take a look at the video if you haven't yet. What are your thoughts? I know it's still early to give any deep feedback.

They're talking about de-emphasizing the difficulty of combat and using the goals system Adam has used in the past to replace the existing XP system. This way players can get XP for things other than just defeating enemies.

I'm not sure how I feel quite yet but I do believe a change needed to occur. I'm not sure if the changes they are proposing will fit or not without seeing them try out the new system. I did really enjoy watching the difficult battles but also I was getting frustrated when JP kept losing his characters. I would still like to see deadly encounters but maybe only once a session or once every other session? Once a session should be okay if the players are allowed to take a long rest. I think would enjoy a mix of difficulty and enjoy seeing the players stomp an easy encounter every once in a while. I would also try and do some sort of ramp up when a new character comes into the mix. I did like that goals system in the past but I need to see how it will be mingled with D&D before I comment.

I'm really excited for JP's new character and to see what Zeke plays. What does everyone else think?


(Might be Captain Marvel) #2

Looking forward to the changes. Not that I did not like CoS before it produced a lot of fun storylines.
Going by the live stream I am looking forward to the opportunities it will offer for more stories ( I watch Rollplay for the stories, not for the game mechanics).

I also like Adam's idea for other sources of XP similar to those of mirrorshades etc.. It was fun knowing what the characters were working towards.


(BorisIgnatievich) #3

tbh, after the first couple of rounds of a big fight I kind of zone out anyway. A three hour combat encounter doesn't seem that enthralling to me as a standard battle (climactic boss fight is obviously a bit different), and they seem to believe that's where the previous strategy was heading - so I think a change is good

In terms of how they change it, the thing that's interesting me most is the idea of Adam no longer scaling things to suit characters, and instead just having a world with a bunch of stuff in it of all sorts of levels - I don't think any player, even berg, has had a long term goal within the show beyond surviving (or at least no non-guest has lived long enough to make a character goal happen) so that could be cool to see if they get that room. Kind of West Marchy in a way - like Grigori and Gallahan plotting about birthing this dragon egg but not having the capability to do it, or how the Barrens were scary for a new character but not the lvl 3+ guys

Looking forwards to seeing how it goes :thumbsup: :itmejpexcite:


(Twitch: eyearcana) #4

Agreed! I really enjoyed that goal system used in some of the other games so we'll see. What if they go after that level 12 Lich used as an example by accident? :grin:


(Uracil0) #5

I am fairly behind on CoS but to me the hard fights were always something i really enjoyed about it. Also it kinda differentiates CoS from all the other D&D shows on the interwebs.

About the XP system. I am a fan of group XP so having individual XP/levels always bugged me. Unfortunatly i doubt that will change with a character goal/XP system. I wish they would just give XP for quest execution and be done with it. All characters on the same level might also help with the lethality.

My biggest annoyance with CoS is however still the rotating guest player. I guess i understand why they're doing it but imo it doesn't improve the quality of the show.


(Twitch: Bitghost_) #6

I'm interested to see how the changes play out. I definitely get not wanting to have hard encounters just for the sake of having difficult combat, and to emphasize RP/character development more with goals and stuff. I just hope the players also put the effort in with coming up with goals. Every game I've DM'd I rarely have to coax the players into telling me what they want, most straight up say "here's my backstory, and here's my 'drive'/the thing that I'm aiming for as a character". Adam creates the world, and the player's come up with how they fit in it (to some degree).

I liked the hard encounters because, for me, I enjoy seeing how players react to being presented with an encounter that makes them think...I just think the problem was they rarely actually put much thought into how to approach very difficult fights. Almost never did they think of retreating, or adjusting tactics/using environments, etc. I get that you can't really force that creativity on people so I think the changes might be for the better, for the players and for the audience. Players will come up with goals, Adam will present encounters as obstacles or additional elements to make reaching those goals difficult/feel like an accomplishment.

Either way I think the changes will be interesting, and I'm really looking forward to more emphasis on character development/what those characters goals are and the journey they go on to reach them.

Yeah, I gotta agree with this. It makes sense in some ways to "freshen" up the show with a new perspective/character but I know most "great" stories from D&D come from extended time with the same group, not messing with the group dynamic constantly. They've said Zeke will be on for a while and I think his RP experience will be a nice refreshing change for the show.


(SuperSealion) #7

I always enjoyed the difficulty of CoS, but I do think that reducing that difficulty will result in a more streamlined experience. Personally I would quite like to see the lower difficulty for regular encounters but keep the difficult encounters for bosses or climactic fights like the Lord Falcon or the Rock Gnome King. Reducing the difficulty for regular encounters will improve the flow of the show, but I think that if you remove the difficulty of the bosses then you also remove a lot of the drama and tension that makes a good show.

I am excited to see a more character focused CoS going forwards. Up to this point CoS has been about the world more than the characters, and now that we know a lot about the world it would be interesting to see the characters living within that world. We saw the beginnings of this during the last arc, but it would be nice if the players had an incentive to explore their characters further. After all what did we really know of Enoch before he died, and what do we really know about Ramus now?

Either way Adam's a smart guy, he'll figure it out. :itmejphax:


(Olf_Himself) #8

I'm looking forward to player goals. I think that way there is always something to do rather than waiting for Adam to give the players a quest.
I still want them to get XP from fights though. Because if they don't I believe it can swing in the other way, ie. the players avoid combat because it's pointless.


(profnesbitt) #9

I really like the idea of player goals and getting to flesh out their desires more. I’m a little worried about the world having encounters built independent of the characters. I think it makes the most sense logically but I’m worried we might end up with a season 1 issue where the second the fight starts to look tough the players look to run because they believe they’ve stumbled into an area that’s too difficult whether that’s actually the case or not.


(wolf_brother7) #10

My only hesitation with these changes, especially to the reward structure of D&D, is that D&D does not give the tools necessary to do the sort of things Adam will be wanting from his players. "Let's not fight this time!" will be pretty rough when the player's character sheets are filled with nothing but ways to fight. So a lot of the 'game' will either be rulesless mess (at which point you're not really playing D&D), or will be a faulty foundation built upon 5e's very simplistic binary system of "did I convince them?/do I believe them?" that passes for its social & exploratory pillars (at which point you should play a different system.)


(Typoko) #11

Imho changing to less combat focus can be fine. The problem for me comes from the fact that when there is less focus on combat the times there is combat it will be harder for players as they aren't as used to it with their characters. Having one combat encounters in a month makes anyone rusty. This could be a slippery slope where any combat ends up being a drag when it happens.


(Landwaker) #12

Agree with most of the above, curious to see the show evolve and experiment, interested in the goals mechanic, and hope Zeke stays for a good long while!


(Twitch: eyearcana) #13

I'm still expecting at least one encounter every show even if it's an easier one.


(Aidanmckinney) #14

i have always enjoyed the amount of difficulty that court of swords has, it is always fun and eciteing to have everyone life always on the line. i absolutely love Cos so much so that i am going through all the videos again making a wiki for it and one thing i noticed since i am gathering every single stat and roll that counts is that with the beginning three even tho almost every single encounter was deadly and most would argue that the beginning three were the hardest to watch out of all Cos is that they dished out a lot of damage and their ratio of dealing damage was a lot better then i previously thought.

the point im trying to say is that i think its absolutely necessary to dile back the fights because from a production standpoint having a 4 hour long fight would be brutal, but i dont think you have to fully take away the danger you can have enemies that are just so much more powerful and they may have to run or figure a way out of the bad situation

with all love -Aidan Mckinney

btw a while back i heard you mention something about having some kind of roll hit/miss chart for characters on the show that live update if you want any of the data i am getting going through all the videos im happy to give it :slight_smile:


(profnesbitt) #15

@AdamKoebel With going to a more RP focused leveling style I was wondering if there was a way to hack skills so they level to a certain point by using them that wouldn’t break the game. I’m thinking Burning Wheel style so if your insight is a +1 normally after you make enough insight checks it would level up to +2. You’d have to remove proficiency bonuses from skills I’d think and find a way to account for rogues and bards expertise ability but I think it could be done.


(Monstercloud1) #16

This is going to be a "wait and see" thing. The big difference between previous systems and 5e where homebrewed XP was used, is that when you do level in 5e compared to those other systems, there's a considerable change in power gained - higher spell level, more attacks, awesome archetype skills, etc. In SR and SS, leveling had less of an effect compared to the connections and resources the cast had acquired. While it takes a long time to level the higher they are, when someone DOES level, it can be a big thing. What I'm trying to say I guess in that depending how clever the guys can be in "gaming the system", it can cause some instability in power.

I was kind of hoping to see them announcing they were doing away with the guest arcs with Zeke coming on, but oh well.


(AdamKoebel) #17

Do not worry, friend - this is a difficulty diversification plan, not making the game purely easier across the board.


(Fimbulwolf) #18

Yeah, I feel like a lot of people misunderstood yours and JPs intentions. Flexibilizing encounters may result in some easier fights, but can also lead to TPKs if the players misjudge the situation. Also, rewarding rping and dedicated PC development in the sense of longterm character goals really isnt that foreign do DnD or 5e specifically. I am excited for more.


(JimB0b0) #19

I don't personally like the 3 person party they have between guests, but I don't want to remove the guest dynamic either. I think a good compromise would be having 4 permanent members with any guests taking up a 5th spot. That way, there is less pressure to always have a guest lined up and we still get the cool sidetracks and tonal shifts that guests bring.


(jduats) #20

I'm excited to see how this plays out. If the live show was any indication, doing Easy/Medium/Hard encounters at higher levels (5+) should actually be entertaining. Now that the party is higher level, Adam can throw interesting monsters at them, even if its a "medium" encounter. For instance, at level 1, a medium encounter is like, 3 goblins: Boring! But now you can do a medium encounter, like the Anhkegs from the live show that has cool mechanics, like burrowing and acid spit, that we have never seen before. That way the show can still be cinematic and fun, but not necessarily deadly for the players all the time.