What would you want in 5E?


4th Edition

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Grand Lodge

So WOTC has announced the development of 5E. They are also claiming they want play test feedback, just like Paizo used for Pathfinder.

One of their currently stated goals is a modular system. A system that builds upon itself. I am thinking they are referring back to the original D&D boxed sets. Maybe I am wrong though.

I want a simpler mechanics with less rules clutter. As a GM I cannot tell you how many times I had a great story idea ruined by an obscure rule I had never noticed that was tucked away in an obscure location or product.

So, give me universal mechanics (no exceptions based stuff like 20 always succeeds and 1 always fails... oh yeah except skills). Give me a skeleton of a rules framework and let the GM decide the rest. If I wanted a perfectly regimented rules system where every option is accounted for I would play a MMO where the computer runs everything.

So what do you want from 5E?


I want the ability to have all spellcasters use a spellpoint mechanic or at least spontaneous casting. If there is still prepared spell slot casting, I would like to be able to effordlessly use either way for a campaign without needing additional books.

I also want avoiding long ability trees that force you to take a number of abilities you don't want to unlock access to one that you want, but because of the prerequisites can gain only at a later level.

Scarab Sages

If it's going to be modular, find a way to allow GMs and players to easily describe the nature of the game they're running, or looking for.

E.g. "Mostly Core Rules, using options 1b (Point-Buy), 2g (Dragonborn race), 5c (crit confirmation), 8d (slow xp progression)."

That helps with recruiting players or finding a new group, saves wasting time on a group whose game you know you won't enjoy, saves arguments mid-campaign.


VTT support

Sovereign Court

I want much more complicated rules then 4E, much deeper and mechanical. A return to the Advanced line would be best, more like 2nd edition rather then 4th.


If they are going modular, I want rules creation that is simpler where I can create any character I need for my campaign.

Liberty's Edge

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I would like to see a lot of the ideas they put into Star Wars SAGA edition. I was very excited about 4e after grabbing SAGA. Nice half-way house between 3e and 4e - would have rocked :(


Me too. Saw some people saying the same thing on GitP.

Shadow Lodge

I would like more of a return to 2E and 3E and away from 4E. I would like more complexity and more options (rather than less). I would like more customization potentual throughout levels. I would like fewer classes, but more potentual to build them in a variaty of ways.

I would like Aasimars to kick out the Tiefling as a core race.

I would like something similar to skill challenges to remain, but not to the point where they really do not matter (as they basically do not in 4E, at least last I played).

I would like for 5E to take a look at what has worked with Paizo and White Wolf's similar experiences and to follow in their foot steps.

I would absolutely positively love WotC to not promise some kind of cool technology to be attached to 5E and never come through with it, and in fact not even base it off of that at all. Did the online gaming board thing ever even come out?

The only other thing from 4E I would really like to keep would be how monsters worked. I loved the 4E MM, even after I gave up on the game, just because it was the only thing I really thought was an improvement, and sometimes use some of that design in 3E and PF.

I hope that 5E focuses on Dragonlance and other less popular/known settings and avoids FR for a while.


Beckett wrote:
I would absolutely positively love WotC to not promise some kind of cool technology to be attached to 5E and never come through with it, and in fact not even base it off of that at all. Did the online gaming board thing ever even come out?

It's been available to subscribers in one form or another for...a year now? Something like that.


I'd like to let alot of things run through skills, even combat.

Having swords skill and so on with fighting classes receiving a flat bonus to fighting skills for example to give them full attack and allowing the others to be as trained as they want. And skills allowing more options with training.

Not all skills scaling automatically.

Classes with clear abilities, like sneak attack that scale, not needing to be replaced every four levels.

Leave vancian casting in the game, but allow options (and making fewer spells that scale with spellcraft (yes, Saga here)).

Easy GM-ing

Creatures with more than just combat stats.

Options to play without tracking XP, GP and other stats.

Varied and interresting abilities.


I would like to see more skills, the current 4e list is a shame. Also some more real roleplaying options, sometimes I feel a character is just a fighting machine in the rolebooks, althought it left plenty of room for players to act without having or needing rules (mostly in horror adventures).


Two more things

Setting and other such books with much less crunch.

Less hit points.

I'm throroughly disinterested in having 179 hp, when I go down after five solid hits. Why not have 15 hp and have solid hit (2) / glancing blow (1) / critical (3 damage) and immunity to lesser effects? Like things of your level+5 do one step worse hits and level-5 one step less?

Scarab Sages

Zmar wrote:

I'd like to let a lot of things run through skills, even combat.

Having swords skill and so on with fighting classes receiving a flat bonus to fighting skills for example to give them full attack and allowing the others to be as trained as they want. And skills allowing more options with training.

The Rolemaster method?

I liked that they left it up to the player, if they wanted to generalise or specialise (with diminishing returns).

Zmar wrote:
Classes with clear abilities, like sneak attack that scale, not needing to be replaced every four levels.

The replacement of a short list of abilities, rather than an increasing list, is one of the things I have heard as a dealbreaker in 4E, interfering with players' sense of verisimilitude, and prompting comparisons to Pokemon.


The with powers is the same as many people have with vancian casting (at least there it's explained as being pre-loaded with spells that you can fire by comleting formula) - you suddenly forget "Soldier's Strike" and learn "Phoenix Swoop". Your signature move is no more and now you...

As for skills, I don't know Rolemaster - I'm thinking about it as:

Sword attack bonus = d20 + swords skill (ability + training investment) + class bonus + miscelaneous

Or possibly the calss bonus could be to certain skills. Damage could be even defined by how much you go over target's defense (Lo! Built-in scaling abilities that be?).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Minimal prep time.

An ability to build a playable character in fifteen minutes.

Classes which play differently from the others, but not very many of them.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I want them to really go for the modular approach - make practically everything a module including stuff like Races.

For example my idea of a modular D&D book (posted from another thread):

First couple of chapters present the core of the game, very basic, with no races, just four clases Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard. There would be no skills, just advise to use Ability checks (perhaps with half level bonus like 4e) and if the PC has an appropriate background to give a +2 to +5 bonus. Combat would use abstract zones so minis are not needed. There would be no combat manouvres.

The next lot of chapters could be entirely optional sets of rules:

Races - Each race could have minimum and maximum starting ability scores rather than ability score modifiers (ala Earthdawn), so they overlay perfectly with the basic game. Give each race some specific self contained abilities and you're done.

Advanced Classes - Add new classes like Bard, Barbarian, Monk, Ranger etc

Adventuring Skills - Rather than GM adjudication of giving a +2 or +5 bonus to tasks that fit a PC's concept have a set of core adventuring skills like 4e that can be trained or not (and perhaps even "double trained" to give a specialisation). Each character has a specific number of skills it can train at char gen and then every 3 levels or something. This could list class skills if really needed but that would cause interaction between modules.

Background Skills - Add in Craft, Profession and similar skills that can be trained using a seperate pool of training uses than Adventuring skills, so you can bolt this on seperately without having to redistribute points spent on adventuring skills.

Feats - Add in the option for PCs to gain feats, extra abilities etc that do not simply give bonuses to skills as that would be interaction between modules.

Tactical combat - Expansion of the combat rules to use precise ranges, positioning and movement speeds. Also options to add manouevres like Disarm, Grapple etc. Maps in adventures could support both the basic and tactical combat by being marked in both 5' squares and also zones highlighted. Even in a single game you could mix and match - use abstract rules for a simple bar brawl that won't last more than a few rounds and break out tactical combat for fighting the main villain and his minions at the temple of the underdark.

Powers - For those that want 4e like powers, you could add in that option here. Not quite sure how that would tie in with spells in the basic game, but maybe it as simple as in the basic game spells do make Wizards more powerful than Fighters at higher levels (ala 3.5) but introducing martial powers levels the field for a more balanced game.

Gritty & Cinematic Options - the basic game would have a general high fantasy feel with easy play being front and centre. This chapter could include optional rules to change the feel, for example in the basic rules resting overnight could mean recovering all hit points, but here there could be rule for lingering wounds that say if a single attacks inflicts damage that exceeds your Con Score (or other threshold) you take a Wound meaning you cannot recover a specific amount of HP until you heal that wound (requiring perhaps two days bed rest).

Other options could include Hero Points that allow dice re-rolls etc.

There could even be a chapter for FATE like Aspects!

So for example you could play D&D with Races and Skills, but no Advanced Classes, Feats or Tactical combat. Or you could play the basic game with no Races or Skills but with Tactical Combat and Powers.

This would allow the game to support anything from basic like D&D to something like 3.5 or 4e, and would also ease players into the game by adding a layer of rule one at a time.


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Krome wrote:
So what do you want from 5E?

To see Pathfinder crush it, to see 5e driven before Pathfinder, and to hear the lamentation of 5e's women.

I am Pathfinder. I live, I love, I slay, and I am content.

....WHAT?!?!? ;)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I personally would like them to keep something similar to the monster creation rules for 4th. Those rules make developing new threats for the PCs easy as hell, and are simple to modify slightly to make things that are really unique. While Pathfinder's monsters are awesome, the rules for making them is a great deal more drawn out than in 4th edition.

Conversely, I hope they go with a different approach entirely on the PC end of things. All the classes feel too similar in the current edition. I'd like it to be closer to what Pathfinder and 3.5 do, with less focus on balance and more on uniqueness. More to do with skills and outside of combat abilities would be good as well.

Shadow Lodge

I don't want to see any button mashing powers with cool downs that interrupt verisimilitude, especially for non-spell casters. If my fighter is only allowed to do a specific ability a few times a day I would like it to make sense without resorting to explanations like: it has limited use because in combat there would only be a few times that the opportunity would present itself that would allow you to use this ability but you as a player get to decide when that is. No thanks. I want to be able to use mundane abilities even when it is stupid to do so and doomed to fail.

I think fighters could be made to be more exciting by making them situation dependent. What do I mean by that? Well, I've always loved playing a sword and board fighter, shield bashing followed by a free bull rush into a wall to knock the enemy prone sort of thing. It would be cool if it had lots of stuff like that so that the fighter could sit quietly in simple melee until the enemy put himself in a bad spot and then unleash a barrage of combination attacks. These situation dependent abilities could grow more complex as level increased.


I'd like to see more "Stances", something that's always on and doesn't break people's verisimilitude (or whatever). Using specific weapons in conjunction with stances gains great effects and every once in a while, can really surge forth with a strong attack (which you gain more attemps of as you level......wait I just described the Knight.

Ok, well applying those same ideas, at later level, what about stances that morph or change as you grow. Specific weapons garner a better effect depending on what stance your in. For example, axes do something special (knock prone) in Stance X where as heavy blades allow you to damage multiple enemies....crap, that's the Slayer.

Ok, I want to see stances in 5E.

Oh, and Weapon Groups. The requiring of specific focuses in one weapon (ie. Weapon Focus: Longsword) where you lose benefits gained for switching something a bit different (longsword to scimitar or to greatsword) was pretty lame. So lets keep it more generalized instead of super focued and cemented with one weapon for your character's career.

I'd also like to see flavorful options that just don't stink. Point being, Skill that are interesting (Craft Profession Perform) but that wouldn't be worth any point in putting emphasis on. So aside from teh adventuring skills you've got a small list of non-combative skills you can also pick from and a few profession skills too. So You can pick 3 Combat Skills, 2 non-combative skills, and a profession skill.


Here is my 'ideal' world, or at least general ideas that have been percolating in the back of my mind:

1: I would like the core of the game to be a small, concise and easy softcover book that covers the basic rules, provides a number of starting characters and monsters with limited customizability, along with some basic tools for the DM to make their own monsters and adventures. It would cover levels 1-10, only have the truly 'classic' races and classes and be very cheap - basically, I'm looking for the Gamma World rulebook, which was better than the Red Box as an intro package in every possible way. Call it "D&D Basic" or whatever.

2: Have a 'Players' book as a standard hardcover. This covers levels 1-20 or 1-30, and offers a ton more options in terms of races and classes, as well as customizability within each class. Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, Warlord, Wizard = 10 classes. Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Half-Elf, Half-orc; Gnome, Eladrin, Deva, Tiefling, Dragonborn = 11 races.

3: In terms of mechanics, there is room to play a simple fighter or a complicated one. Even with options, there should be much less in the way of 'fiddly bits' - take the original 4E approach (of allowing a very limited range of attack/damage/defense optimization) and stick to it, rather than flooding the market with feats that grant small numerical bonuses. Avoid anything resembling the expertise feats like the plague. Tone down the racial ability score benefits so they don't drive char-gen quite as much - play up unique special abilities and the like. Finally, establish some guidelines for different thematic elements and stick with them, so that playing a swordsman feels very different from an axeman, and playing a fire mage feels very different from a wind mage. Finally, has a bunch of common and basic magic items for general use, though even these should be slightly more interesting than "+1 sword".

4: A DM book in hardcover. Contains lots of advice, but also contains many premade challenges, traps, monsters and other obstacles, along with the tools for creating your own. Monster selection is concise and not worried about ecologies, background, etc. Also contains more in the way of uncommon and rare items and artifacts.

5: A Monster Book, with tons of monsters, and a heavy focus on background, RP, story, etc.

6: DDI, built in from the ground floor, with all of its flaws and hiccups ironed out, with regular support and reliable access. Basically, the original game plan for 4E, only this time, they get it right.

Those are the big ones, in terms of general approach. Some other random thoughts:

7: Tone down the numbers in general. Scale back on hp, scaling bonuses, etc, which will both keep it easier to keep the math under control, and hopefully address issues about grind. This does risk more in the way of swinginess, which does need to be watch for, admittedly.

8: Return saving throws to player's hands. Keep the math the same, in terms of the balance we have now in non-AC defenses. But while this is something that I very much like in theory, players can definitely feel the lack of agency, even if there is no numerical difference between making the save or being targeted by an attack.

9: Keep rules for minions, elites, solos, etc.

10: Where powers and spells still show up, make them more consistent, and more scaleable. You don't need to have three different spells at level 5, level 15, and level 25, that all involve "big fiery explosion" when you can just make one that gets better at later levels.

11: So, with having all this stuff at launch, what products to release from there? Setting books, sure (I do like the self-contained release, though I don't think it needs to stop at 2 or 3 forever. But we also don't need 20 or 30 books per setting, either.)

12: Many of the standard specialist books "Complete Warrior/Martial Power", etc. Find ways to keep them filled with content but low on bloat. Probably a hopeless task, but... worth striving for.

Anyway, these are just ideas bouncing around in my head. I'm still not sure, in terms of the goal of modularity, if the better approach is to try and contain it all within 1 book, or have multiple books with different approaches.

I do think, at its core, that the biggest things I'd like to see are a cheap intro book and proper DDI support. Those would be a big, big deal.


* d20 core engine
* no feats (like in 2E)
* 4E skill names
* vancian spell system


BALANCE.

I enjoyed 3.xE....
but the concept that no one was ever a wizard20 because the prestige classes were better IN EVERY WAY than the base classes was just dumb.

I also loved the IDEA that was a rumor when 4E was about to release that race had a level component.
I would really like to see a meshing between race and class to combine unique effects:
like the fact I level my dwarf fighter to dwarf5/fighter5 (at 5th level).... and that dwarves would get some special training/abilities/maneuvers that they have access to (but are not forced to take) when wielding axes (for example).
I think race has more untapped potential than is currently accounted for in traits/feats/prestige classes.
I don't like restrictions (like dwarves can't use swords), but I do like a situational bonus that rewards me for going with some racial predispositions.

To be honest though, I'm happy in Paizo land.
I don't want 5E to fail, but I'd rather see the things I like in Pathfinder (or PF2E if it comes to that). I love Paizo products (art, editing, formatting, content, design, etc.)... I want to be a 'one system guy' right now, as I don't get as much time to play as I'd like.

MSG

Frog God Games

danskmacabre wrote:
VTT support

I would like this as well as ACTUAL table-top support.


I have been thinking about this for a while. My answer was a bit lengthy. I placed it on my blog.

Madcap Comedy Hour

The short summary is that I like how D&D 4E handled some things, and I like how Pathfinder handled other things. There are a couple of things that I'd like to see changed altogether. If D&D 4E and Pathfinder had some sort of secret love child and named it 5E, it might be the best of both worlds.


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1. Keep the standard base stat progression for all characters regardless of class. Not having every PC class have individual to-hit and saving throw or defense modifiers makes the build process easier, especially if working without a book. The 1/2 level progression does make the game more accessible and easy to build PCs on the fly.

2. Keep the GM's job easy when it comes to statting up and running monsters. I spent 45 minutes or more building a high-level lich using Pathfinder rules recently, and the crunch options were very wide. I converted the same lich to 4E within 20 minutes, and the process was all creative and not crunch. Mind you, both sides of this equation used computerized builders - yet 4E's mechanics cut my prep time in half, and I had more fun designing that version of the NPC than I did in PF. Making NPCs quickly and creatively should be a mainstay in the game - even if the GM's characters play by slightly different rules than the PCs in the course of the build process.

3. I'd like to see modular options for player builds that are cross-compatible. Basically, as it stands in 4E, someone can make a complex level 6 PC out of the PHBs with multiclass or hybrid feats and it more or less stacks up with a simple 6th-level Essentials fighter build in play. I'd like for players to be able to choose the complexity level with which they are most comfortable (within the GM's guidelines, of course) and have those options still be more or less balanced in-game.

4. Stop giving class features silly names. If I am running a ranger who learned to fight in a disciplined military setting, I may not want a power called "Dancing Serpent" or "Lurking Spider". Basically, don't dictate flavor to me.

5. Kill the delve format and layout for modules. I think Rule of Three has already confirmed that this format is going to die, but it has sucked since late 3.5 (Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, anybody?), and it needs to go away for good.

6. Spell points. PLEASE use spell points. Drop the Vancian slot-based system. I realize that not everybody wants this, but since this is my wishlist, I'm including it. =]


Asphere wrote:

I don't want to see any button mashing powers with cool downs that interrupt verisimilitude, especially for non-spell casters. If my fighter is only allowed to do a specific ability a few times a day I would like it to make sense without resorting to explanations like: it has limited use because in combat there would only be a few times that the opportunity would present itself that would allow you to use this ability but you as a player get to decide when that is. No thanks. I want to be able to use mundane abilities even when it is stupid to do so and doomed to fail.

Yes, this would be nice. The whole "powers" concept from 4e needs to be thrown in the trash bin. And they need to move back toward more distinctive classes, rather than the cookie-cutter approaches where classes are functionally similar but just flavored differently.


Forgot something.

Psionics.

Lantern Lodge

I'd like to see classes completely gone.

I'd like to see a point-based system to be able to buy into each branch of relevance (weapon combat, hand-to-hand combat, skills, spellcasting, special powers, etc). Buy the size of your hit die and have the option down the road to increase it even if it cost more.

Each new level gives you additional points to spend and you don't have to spend all of your points for that level. You can bank them for something big down the road.

not sure about spell levels. I haven't yet figured out to get rid of that yet so it may stay in some form...

no more endless lists of pigeon-holed classes and prestige classes.

It should be more like a buffet and build you character however which way floats your boat.


WhiteTiger wrote:


I'd like to see classes completely gone.

I think classless systems are interesting and can be a lot of fun. I think classes are so fundamental to what people consider to be a core property of D&D that they'll never move away from it.


Elton wrote:

Forgot something.

Psionics.

Which 4E had.

But I understand people's resentment over 4E's "powers", espically for classes that aren't normally magical. I'd suggest, however, that they keep Stances for these classes. Something that doesn't break verisimilitude yet has potential to still perform interesting effects and cause synergy with specific weapons. Something like Sheldsman Stance (Choose an ally that's next to you, they gain your shield bonus to AC) or Furious Charge (When charging, gain a bonus to damage equal to your Strength modifier) or Bowman's Stance (increase the distance of your ranged weapon by half agian and deal deal an additional 1d8 damage with attacks).

Something that is interesting and cool, but doesn't break verisimilitude.


Well, isn't power attack and combat expertise also basically a stance?


White Tiger wrote:

+ I'd like to see classes completely gone.

I'd like to see a point-based system to be able to buy into each branch of relevance (weapon combat, hand-to-hand combat, skills, spellcasting, special powers, etc). Buy the size of your hit die and have the option down the road to increase it even if it cost more.

Each new level gives you additional points to spend and you don't have to spend all of your points for that level. You can bank them for something big down the road.

not sure about spell levels. I haven't yet figured out to get rid of that yet so it may stay in some form...

no more endless lists of pigeon-holed classes and prestige classes.

It should be more like a buffet and build you character however which way floats your boat.

Now you're talking a whole new game. You might as well play Hero System, and let its precisely balanced mechanics mire your game (with combats that bog down so much that 12 seconds of game time can take upwards of 8 hours, real-time!)

Oh, and when I say Hero System, I mean the 5th edition, not the 6th (as 6E seems to have sunk DOJ the way some 3E fans hope 4E will sink WotC).


Steerpike7 wrote:
WhiteTiger wrote:


I'd like to see classes completely gone.
I think classless systems are interesting and can be a lot of fun. I think classes are so fundamental to what people consider to be a core property of D&D that they'll never move away from it.

One of the reasons I play D&D is because of the class system. When I want to play a game that is classless, I have a huge book on the bottom of my bookshelf called HERO system. It does classless really well. I need D&D to be what D&D is. Keep the sacred cows in D&D. When I want a break from them, if I want a break from them I have a bunch of systems I can use.

I don't need the D&D system to be like any other. Warts and all. Some people hate vancian magic. Well if it bothers them so much go play a spell point system.


Carl Cascone wrote:


One of the reasons I play D&D is because of the class system. When I want to play a game that is classless, I have a huge book on the bottom of my bookshelf called HERO system. It does classless really well.

Yeah, this is why they'll never move away from classes in D&D. I like classless games, but to me the class system is a fundamental part of what defines D&D. If they abandon that they'll really be moving toward a system that is D&D in name only.


I've played classless games using the d20 system. It devolves into a lot of feats replacing class abilities, and usually has restrictions that channel you into a class-like direction, anyway.

Lantern Lodge

Carl Cascone wrote:
Steerpike7 wrote:
WhiteTiger wrote:


I'd like to see classes completely gone.
I think classless systems are interesting and can be a lot of fun. I think classes are so fundamental to what people consider to be a core property of D&D that they'll never move away from it.

One of the reasons I play D&D is because of the class system. When I want to play a game that is classless, I have a huge book on the bottom of my bookshelf called HERO system. It does classless really well. I need D&D to be what D&D is. Keep the sacred cows in D&D. When I want a break from them, if I want a break from them I have a bunch of systems I can use.

I don't need the D&D system to be like any other. Warts and all. Some people hate vancian magic. Well if it bothers them so much go play a spell point system.

I hear what you are saying and yes I will admit that I have gotten a bit tired of vancian casting and I prefer spell points. I'll look at Hero 5th edition when I have time... In the meantime... I may continue work on my own system. I'm not super big on keeping sacred cows. never understood that concept but I try to keep an open mind. Essentially, I'm looking for a way to "fully" make my own character concept with fluff and real powers that fully convey my desires. I don't need nor want someone else to tell me what I can or can't do. Since I haven't read Hero 5th .. I'll reserve judgement but I didn't think it was designed for fantasy roleplay... I thought it was more Sci-fi.

Oh well, until I achieve my ultimate goal.. I will continue to plod away on my own and play Pathfinder until something else catches my eye. It's currently the best dog with the least amount of fleas.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Stefan Hill wrote:
I would like to see a lot of the ideas they put into Star Wars SAGA edition. I was very excited about 4e after grabbing SAGA. Nice half-way house between 3e and 4e - would have rocked :(

+1

This was really what I originally expected out of 4e - customizable classes where you pick your class abilities from a menu each time you gain a new one. But, the classes were still distinct in terms of BAB, defenses(saves), etc.

So what I want: (anything with a star is a dealbreaker; I won't really want to play the system if it lacks those)
*Races: at least dwarves, elves, gnomes, half elves, halflings, and humans.
*Classes: at least clerics, druids, fighters, paladins, rangers, wizards, illusionists, rogues, and bards.
(tbh before 4e I would have never thought to include a list like that because it was inconceivable to me that they could leave any of those out. Live and learn).

I'd like to see a system like Star Wars Saga where each class is customizable (kind of like PF rogue talents, but for all classes).

*Actual D&D style magic, Vancian, useful both inside and outside of combat. I want casters to be able to find combat uses for noncombat spells if they are creative, not be restricted by a huge casting time. I'd like damage spells to be more effective and SoD spells less so.

I'd also like to see martial characters brought up to caster power levels at high levels - but not by nerfing magic, and not by making all classes work exactly the same.

*I want a system where it feels like the monsters are playing by the same rules as the PCs - I was ok with a 1e/2e level of abstraction in the monster process, but I hate hate hate the 4e monster system of "it has the numbers/abilities it has because of its level and role, not because of any logical ingame reason." A goblin that uses the magic shield from its treasure should get an AC bonus from it.

*On that note, NPCs should be built with the same rules as PCs if they are PC races and classes.

I like skills points better than the "get better at everything as you level, only all the DCs go up too so not really" system.

*I'd like to be able to (reasonably easily) convert things from 1e-3.5e to the new system.

I prefer saving throws to defenses, but that's just because I hate rolling the dice myself and I tend to play casters.

I want different classes to feel different, and use different subsystems. I want the experience of playing a ranger to be substantially different from that of playing a cleric. There should be at least one class simple enough that a completely clueless newbie can have fun with it right away.

*I want words to mean what they meant in 1e-3.5e - you should be able to play an archer fighter or a civilized elf. You should be able to be Chaotic Good.

Whew, this turned into a long list and this is just stuff off the top of my head. The game I'm describing here may not be possible to actually make in a finite core rule book, but this is a wish list.


* Strong support for old school playstyles. (Without forcing anyone to play that way.)
* Talent trees. If there's one thing I wish tabletops would take away from WoW, it's the talent trees.
* Quick DM prep without dropping a boat load of money on software.
* Balance.... yeah, not so much. As long as every class gets a chance to shine at every level of play, I'm good.
* Full return to the OGL. For a variety of reasons, not the least being that this way we will have the 5E with us for a long time to come, no matter what Hasboro decides to do with the D&D brand.


Yora wrote:
Well, isn't power attack and combat expertise also basically a stance?

Sorta. Power Attack and Combat Expertise are nice and all but they're situation (at best) where as I don't feel your class features should burden you with penalities IMO. I'd like to keep Power Attack and COmbat Exp. both feats.

Stances should be beneficial to use often enough that it's positive in nature (without brusing penalites). So a static bonus (like +2 extra damage) or an effect (forced movement like pushing a bad guy X squares...errr I mean 5 feet back). But then again, I'm not a fan of undesired penalities as a backwards attempt at balance.


Here's what I'd like to see

Instead of powers for martial characters have some talents/feats for customization (not the thousands that they have now), but include a stunt system (see the Dragon Age game for how to do this well) to allow for some interesting tactical decisions without needing thousands of powers to do it with.

For spellcasters keep a few at will type abilities, but implement a mana point type system for other spells (instead of spells per level). Make sure those spells are cool and flavourful without being broken as so many of the 3E spells are.

Keep a level of hp closer to 4E, as 3E characters are IMO too fragile at low levels. If I were designing the game, I'd probably take a page from Star Wars Saga. Instead of just having hp, I'd distinguish between wounds points and hit points. Hit points would be very fast and easy to heal from, but wound points would take longer periods of time to recover from (though you would only take wound damage in certain situations- like from crits or certain types of damage). To keep it simple for dms most monsters would still only have hp. Wound points could be an optional feature for groups that want to run a grittier style game.

The numbers for attributes don't really do anything anymore, so I'd pull a page from M&M 3E on that one and make the bonus or penalty the actual attribute score.

Make magic items flavourful and interesting, but not necessary to having a playable and fun character.

Make combat dynamic and fast, and find a way to get rid of square counting on a battle map. Maybe movement rules that are more like a FATE game with zones or the 3E warhammer game with engagements and relative distances (short, medium long etc.).


If they can make 'high magic' an option with default system as low-magic or no-magic, they'll definitively get my attention.

I wish high magic would require extra rules, rather than extra rules to revert to low magic...

'findel


P.H. Dungeons mentions "dynamic and fast" for the combat system, but I'm just not sure how obtainable this is. In 3e/PF, I've found combat to last 4-10 rounds depending on the "to-hit" factor and the HP level between PCs and Monsters. In 4E, it's roughly about the same but decreases a bit with party synergy, optimization, and a greater understanding of what your character is capable of. But really, it's normally 4-7 (or higher) in rounds. The question is, how many rounds is "quick" and how many rounds is "too long"?

Personally, I have no problems with battles lasting more than half and hour. But I can see the simplicity with battles lasting about 10 minutes of real-time. Everyone goes a few rounds (say 3) and that can be really good, but how "deadly" does this turn at higher levels, with more spells, more uses of magical items, higher damage threshold and so forth.

I'd like them to keep the numbers rather low. Starting HP should be high initially (like in 4E) but slowly grow over a character's career. P.H. Dungeons also mentions the Wound/Vitality system and I think it definitly has a place within "Core". I see no reason NOT to make it an "official rule" published along side normal HP factors.

Taking the low numbers approach further, what if this is also applied to AC, saving throws, skill ranks....? We know that at high levels of play, most people need high numbers to compete with monsters but how "mandatory" is that concept? How does this promote verisimilitude within the actual world of the game? How about a more gradual increase of AC/to-hit ratio. I like the +1/2 level method because I find Thac0 and the BAB systems mathematically flawed and dreadfully inaccurate to express character growth. At least with the +1/2 level aspect, people rely more on their abilities, weapons, magic than the core structure itself. I just hate seeing all the numbers increase just for the sake of increasing them.

@Laurefindel: I like high-magic and circile magic concepts too and hope that some sort of rule is made to faciliate this idea. But I wasn't impressed with how 3E and 4E did them. I believe it takes a certian amount of campaign realation in addition to the DM coordinating the NPCs with the PCs to make it happen. But keep in mind that others are going to want to do something too while your using Circle Magic or casting an Epic Ritual (or high magic) and so that should be taken into account also.


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The way I see it is that it's not "How many rounds are quick," but "How quick are the rounds?" It's the pace not the duration that matters the most in combat.

Several fast rounds is a lot more fun for me as a gamer than a few slow rounds. I don't run fights in my game at the drop of a hat. When I do run a combat, the PCs know they've been a fight and it is usually a big deal, so I'm fine with fights that last half an hour to an hour. What I'm not fine with is tracking tons of conditions and having PCs turns play slow because they're trying to figure out which power to pick, how best to use their minor action, counting squares to avoid attacks of opportunity, and all the other non interesting stuff that can bog down fights in current versions of the game.

As an example of fast and dynamic fights I will again mention Dragon Age. Since switching to that system we've found that fights can still take 1/2 and hour to an hour (still a little faster than an average 4E fight), but as I said above I tend to run pretty significant combats, as opposed to quick skirmishes. However the actually turns play much faster, because the rules are less cumbersome. You have the stunt system, which still lets PCs do fun stuff like knock enemies prone, make an extra attack, push an opponent, disarm, do extra damage, pierce armour etc., but even with the stunt system the pace of the fights has felt very fast and the action feels really visceral and dynamic. My main problem with DA is there are only 3 character classes, and you don't have the slew of monsters you get with D&D, so I have to build them all myself (which has been really easy, but still takes more time than just pulling one from a MM).

Diffan wrote:

P.H. Dungeons mentions "dynamic and fast" for the combat system, but I'm just not sure how obtainable this is. In 3e/PF, I've found combat to last 4-10 rounds depending on the "to-hit" factor and the HP level between PCs and Monsters. In 4E, it's roughly about the same but decreases a bit with party synergy, optimization, and a greater understanding of what your character is capable of. But really, it's normally 4-7 (or higher) in rounds. The question is, how many rounds is "quick" and how many rounds is "too long"?

Personally, I have no problems with battles lasting more than half and hour. But I can see the simplicity with battles lasting about 10 minutes of real-time. Everyone goes a few rounds (say 3) and that can be really good, but how "deadly" does this turn at higher levels, with more spells, more uses of magical items, higher damage threshold and so forth.

I'd like them to keep the numbers rather low. Starting HP should be high initially (like in 4E) but slowly grow over a character's career. P.H. Dungeons also mentions the Wound/Vitality system and I think it definitly has a place within "Core". I see no reason NOT to make it an "official rule" published along side normal HP factors.

Taking the low numbers approach further, what if this is also applied to AC, saving throws, skill ranks....? We know that at high levels of play, most people need high numbers to compete with monsters but how "mandatory" is that concept? How does this promote verisimilitude within the actual world of the game? How about a more gradual increase of AC/to-hit ratio. I like the +1/2 level method because I find Thac0 and the BAB systems mathematically flawed and dreadfully inaccurate to express character growth. At least with the +1/2 level aspect, people rely more on their abilities, weapons, magic than the core structure itself. I just hate seeing all the numbers increase just for the sake of increasing them.

@Laurefindel: I like high-magic and circile magic concepts too and hope that some sort of rule is...


P.H. Dungeon wrote:

The way I see it is that it's not "How many rounds are quick," but "How quick are the rounds?"

Several fast rounds is a lot more fun for me as a gamer than a few slow rounds. I don't run fights in my game at the drop of a hat. When I do run a combat, the PCs know they've been a fight and it is usually a big deal, so I'm fine with fights that last half an hour to an hour. What I'm not fine with is tracking tons of conditions and having PCs turns play slow because they're trying to figure out which power to pick, how best to use their minor action, counting squares to avoid attacks of opportunity, and all the other non interesting stuff that can bog down fights in current versions of the game.

Agreed, and as much as I love 4E and the way certain aspects interact with the battle, there were just too many condition that were going on. I can handle one or two effects that last a turn but the consistant "on-off-on-off-cancel out-off-on" of just one or two during combat got a bit....tedious. It's a reaons I'm a big fan of the newer classes "Defender Aura", meaning no more marking and making sure no one supercedes that mark and having to track the mark all over the place.


Yeah, if I played 4E again, I would strongly encourage my players to stick with the essentials classes.

Dragon Age has very few actual conditions (if any- though I have used ongoing damage on occasion), so you don't deal with that issue. I realize a few conditions can make the game interesting, but both 4E and Pathfinder IMO use too many.

Diffan wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:

The way I see it is that it's not "How many rounds are quick," but "How quick are the rounds?"

Several fast rounds is a lot more fun for me as a gamer than a few slow rounds. I don't run fights in my game at the drop of a hat. When I do run a combat, the PCs know they've been a fight and it is usually a big deal, so I'm fine with fights that last half an hour to an hour. What I'm not fine with is tracking tons of conditions and having PCs turns play slow because they're trying to figure out which power to pick, how best to use their minor action, counting squares to avoid attacks of opportunity, and all the other non interesting stuff that can bog down fights in current versions of the game.

Agreed, and as much as I love 4E and the way certain aspects interact with the battle, there were just too many condition that were going on. I can handle one or two effects that last a turn but the consistant "on-off-on-off-cancel out-off-on" of just one or two during combat got a bit....tedious. It's a reaons I'm a big fan of the newer classes "Defender Aura", meaning no more marking and making sure no one supercedes that mark and having to track the mark all over the place.

Liberty's Edge

If they could have feats progress like spells I would not mind the Vancian magic system so much. Take for example Dodge. all you get is +1 good for low or medium levels. Not that great at higher levels. Feats should progress and give more benefits. similar to the system in Iron Heroes.


Diffan wrote:
Elton wrote:

Forgot something.

Psionics.

Which 4E had.

Not every psionic option I wanted.


memorax wrote:
If they could have feats progress like spells I would not mind the Vancian magic system so much. Take for example Dodge. all you get is +1 good for low or medium levels. Not that great at higher levels. Feats should progress and give more benefits. similar to the system in Iron Heroes.

Many 4E feats do that, but it usually when you switch to a new tier of play not say every level.

I'm plugging Dragon Age a lot for some reason today, but their talent system is pretty cool. You pick a talent (say two weapon fighter) and each talent has 3 levels of competency- Novice, journeyman and master. Each of these gives you a new benefit related to the talent. Basically every other level your character advances allows you to either upgrade a current talent or take the novice rank of a new talent. Certain talents also have class restrictions and not all talents are combat related. For instance, there is a scouting talent, and an animal handling talent.

I think the D&D feat system would be much better served by something like the above.

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