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gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 12:19 AM
I hope that they make content balanced around different balance points. So have a number of different balance points and make content for each of them. Maybe it's crazy as an idea. I don't know. Just throwing it out there.

Is it crazy though? Responses will be my sanity check. :)

Mordaedil
2019-09-06, 01:07 AM
I also wish they do [the thing]. It would be very nice if they did [the thing]. Maybe then we could play [the thing] and have a good time with [the thing].

I dunno, I think [the thing] is a good idea, what do you think, OP?

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 01:47 AM
I also wish they do [the thing]. It would be very nice if they did [the thing]. Maybe then we could play [the thing] and have a good time with [the thing].

I dunno, I think [the thing] is a good idea, what do you think, OP?

I can't say for sure, but I've heard Varrick make that same request on multiple occasions:
Do the thing - Varrick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojhTu9aAa_Y)

Eldan
2019-09-06, 01:59 AM
I don't think they'll do it. They've learned from AD&D and third edition: don't make books that not everyone will buy. It's why they have almost totally stopped printing setting books, because not everyone buys every setting. And if they had several balance points, many people will only buy splats for one or two balance points, and they'll spend money designing and printing material not everyone can use in every campaign. SO basically, not going to happen.

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 02:09 AM
I don't think they'll do it. They've learned from AD&D and third edition: don't make books that not everyone will buy. It's why they have almost totally stopped printing setting books, because not everyone buys every setting. And if they had several balance points, many people will only buy splats for one or two balance points, and they'll spend money designing and printing material not everyone can use in every campaign. SO basically, not going to happen.

I had a feeling something like this might happen, but I didn't think about this specifically. Makes sense. Unfortunate though.

Eldan
2019-09-06, 02:40 AM
It's commonly cited as one reason among many why TSR went down. A dozen settings with very specific niches, like Dark Sun, Planescape, Ravenloft, which required very specific material. The people who liked them liked them a lot, but the people who didn't like those settings never bought the boxes.

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 03:02 AM
I get the feeling 3.5 does this loosely. There are tiers of classes, ad hoc cr where some encounters may be more or less effective, the force enhancement making archers stronger, the complete psionics book

Thus with good system knowledge you could make the balance point you want. And with bad system knowledge you end up with tier 5's in a tier 1 game.

Like pointers in programming. Powerful, useful, and risky.

Eldan
2019-09-06, 03:14 AM
That's all fan work, though. WotC never came out and told you "Don't buy Tome of Battle if you think normal martial classes are balanced in your game" or "warning: this book contains very powerful spells" or "Don't build a truenamer if you have any remotely competent people in your group".

Morty
2019-09-06, 03:16 AM
D&D 3E has different points of balance on accident, as a result of design mistakes and intentional catering to spellcaster supremacy. "Tiers" and such are players trying to make sense of it all and arrive at a functional game.

It would be interesting to see an edition that supports it on purpose. Eldan is right, though, that making separate content for it wouldn't work. It'd need to work as modules applied to one set of rules.

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 03:21 AM
Yeah, I guess it is by accident. Incredible. They stumbled across it.

As a result I'm bewildered by just the thought of a system doing it on purpose.

Keledrath
2019-09-06, 04:19 AM
It would be interesting to see an edition that supports it on purpose. Eldan is right, though, that making separate content for it wouldn't work. It'd need to work as modules applied to one set of rules.

I think the system you're looking for is called Exalted. Each Exalt type is explicitly a different balance points. Solars are just straight up stronger than than Lunars, who are straight up stronger than Dragonblood. Mixed parties are possible, but require either acceptance of party imbalance or some kind of additional advantage given to the lower power exalts

Morty
2019-09-06, 04:56 AM
Yeah, I guess it is by accident. Incredible. They stumbled across it.

As a result I'm bewildered by just the thought of a system doing it on purpose.

Plenty of systems have in fact already done it.


I think the system you're looking for is called Exalted. Each Exalt type is explicitly a different balance points. Solars are just straight up stronger than than Lunars, who are straight up stronger than Dragonblood. Mixed parties are possible, but require either acceptance of party imbalance or some kind of additional advantage given to the lower power exalts

I'm very familiar with Exalted, yes.

Psyren
2019-09-06, 10:27 AM
Do we need a "6e?" They're barely releasing content for 5th as it is.

I'd rather see them release official versions of other genres entirely using the now-ubiquitous design principles of 5th - like modern, cyberpunk, space opera, alternate history, steampunk etc.

AdAstra
2019-09-06, 11:45 AM
Do we need a "6e?" They're barely releasing content for 5th as it is.

I'd rather see them release official versions of other genres entirely using the now-ubiquitous design principles of 5th - like modern, cyberpunk, space opera, alternate history, steampunk etc.

Other than the fact that new genres will definitely not help with the content drought, I agree wholeheartedly. The current d20 system is incredibly solid and easy to pick up, and with bounded accuracy can be used for basically any setting where characters are intended to be even remotely grounded, while still offering a decent amount of granularity.

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 12:25 PM
Do we need a "6e?" They're barely releasing content for 5th as it is.

I'd rather see them release official versions of other genres entirely using the now-ubiquitous design principles of 5th - like modern, cyberpunk, space opera, alternate history, steampunk etc.

I felt the same way about 3.5 and psionics. We got 2 books. There was 1 ToB and nothing in ToB for ranged. Homebrew is a thing, but my point stands. So as a result I wouldn't feel too bad if they did drop 5e for something less stringently focused on one balance point to the point of exacerbating meta slavery. A more robust system preferably. I mean, you already spend the time meeting up and thinking out the story, why save time on the other stuff when you could have a more robust system? Seems pennywise and pound foolish imo, especially when computer games do balance and speed way better than 5e :/. Meh. We'll just have to see what wotc decides.

jjordan
2019-09-06, 03:17 PM
I'd like to see D&D 6e go to a skill-based system with standard templates for the classes, implement a robust e-publishing system to reduce costs and production times as well as allow for periodic content updates and errata, and leverage the creativity of the community with online tools that allow the community to connect and share their creativity while strengthening the WotC brand.

gooddragon1
2019-09-06, 03:58 PM
I'd like to see D&D 6e go to a skill-based system with standard templates for the classes, implement a robust e-publishing system to reduce costs and production times as well as allow for periodic content updates and errata, and leverage the creativity of the community with online tools that allow the community to connect and share their creativity while strengthening the WotC brand.

I'm liking it. It does sound interesting and customizable... can always lock things in afterwards, but the initial option by default in tandem with the flexibility to allow the system to allow different approaches even if you did a more locked in approach or had some players modular and others fixed. I am liking it.

Cluedrew
2019-09-06, 09:13 PM
The current d20 system is incredibly solid and easy to pick up,As compared to what? Earlier editions of D&D?

I had a "What do you want changed for 6th edition" thread planned. But since this is here I'll throw in my biggest (which is not to say most likely) hope for future editions of D&D. I want combat to be sped up even more. The best combats I have ever been in took 6 roles to resolve. That would be a very short combat in D&D. For all the great moments that have happened in combat, there seems to always be an excess of rounds of waiting for those moments to come. Maybe getting rid of the "you will fight multiple (usually meaningless) fights a day" culture that surrounds the game would help.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty unlikely idea. Combat is part of the core of D&D and in my mind to its detriment in a few cases. But not everyone agrees with that.

To jjordan: The greater focus on skills I am on board with, most of my homebrew systems are skill based for a reason.

Rhedyn
2019-09-06, 11:23 PM
Well the Kickstarter for Worlds Without Number should be next year, so that (Written by Kevin Crawford, the author of Stars Without Number).

So the point of D&D 6e? Steal good ideas from OSR games. 2d6 skill system with d20 combat to get rid of the silly swing in skills. An intricate magic item crafting system (including flying castles) like in the Rules Cyclopedia.

I could also go for a Black Hack 2e, but redone with WotC production values and maybe Foci like in Stars Without Number to add character customization. I imagine that would look a lot like traditional fantasy Numenera.

Psyren
2019-09-07, 01:09 AM
Other than the fact that new genres will definitely not help with the content drought, I agree wholeheartedly. The current d20 system is incredibly solid and easy to pick up, and with bounded accuracy can be used for basically any setting where characters are intended to be even remotely grounded, while still offering a decent amount of granularity.

More importantly, you don't have to teach the masses a new core mechanic. For most people, D&D is the only TTRPG they'll ever play, why not use a familiar gaming "language" to get them to step outside the comfort zone of elves and dwarves and maidens fair?


I felt the same way about 3.5 and psionics. We got 2 books. There was 1 ToB and nothing in ToB for ranged. Homebrew is a thing, but my point stands. So as a result I wouldn't feel too bad if they did drop 5e for something less stringently focused on one balance point to the point of exacerbating meta slavery.

Those were subsystems though, there's a limit to how much material you can put out for a subsystem anyway. The game as a whole still got a bevy of content. (With that said - psionics had way, way more content than just two books.)


A more robust system preferably. I mean, you already spend the time meeting up and thinking out the story, why save time on the other stuff when you could have a more robust system? Seems pennywise and pound foolish imo, especially when computer games do balance and speed way better than 5e :/. Meh. We'll just have to see what wotc decides.

Personally I'd be very skeptical of large mechanical changes. I definitely don't think you can go much lighter than 5e did and still be D&D. And you certainly can't go heavier than 3rd. Somewhere between the two? But that's what PF2 is trying to do and it just feels... extraneous.

Rhedyn
2019-09-07, 01:28 AM
I definitely don't think you can go much lighter than 5e did and still be D&D. The Black Hack 2e.

Most certainly D&D, it's a $6 PDF read. Give it a shot. It's a rules light game with a ton of GM tools.

kieza
2019-09-07, 01:45 AM
What I could see working is a set of core books which contain well-balanced material, and then put the cool but broken material into clearly-labeled splatbooks.

Ignimortis
2019-09-07, 02:20 AM
Well, on-topic...
1) Drop the "normal adventure day" balancing. I have never, in my 7 years with TTRPGs, mostly D&D, seen an adventuring day go as "5-6 encounters". I very rarely even saw a day with more than 3 fights. Most fun fights were actually a single deadly combat after which you could have a long rest or something. The adventuring day paradigm is also harmful since it doesn't allow for anything at-will to be powerful or fun.

2) Either curb spellcaster narrative growth significantly or make martials grow too. A Wizard 1 and Wizard 20 are incomparable. One can put a guy to sleep, the other can rip open portals to other planes, warp reality itself, or, at least, summon meteor showers. A Fighter 1 and Fighter 20 are basically the same, it's just that Fighter 20 hits harder and faster and can take more damage.

Alternatively, get rid of the 20-levels scheme. 5e already doesn't need 20 levels and it shows. You can easily condense everything in 5e to 10 levels, maybe even 8. You can adjust proficiency to those, 1-10 isn't much harsher on bounded accuracy than 2-6.

Rhedyn
2019-09-07, 03:38 AM
Well, on-topic...
1) Drop the "normal adventure day" balancing. I have never, in my 7 years with TTRPGs, mostly D&D, seen an adventuring day go as "5-6 encounters". I very rarely even saw a day with more than 3 fights. Most fun fights were actually a single deadly combat after which you could have a long rest or something. The adventuring day paradigm is also harmful since it doesn't allow for anything at-will to be powerful or fun.

2) Either curb spellcaster narrative growth significantly or make martials grow too. A Wizard 1 and Wizard 20 are incomparable. One can put a guy to sleep, the other can rip open portals to other planes, warp reality itself, or, at least, summon meteor showers. A Fighter 1 and Fighter 20 are basically the same, it's just that Fighter 20 hits harder and faster and can take more damage.

Alternatively, get rid of the 20-levels scheme. 5e already doesn't need 20 levels and it shows. You can easily condense everything in 5e to 10 levels, maybe even 8. You can adjust proficiency to those, 1-10 isn't much harsher on bounded accuracy than 2-6.
You should check out DCCRPG and/or The Black Hack 2e.

The max is level is 10 and a level 1 Fighter is nothing compared to a level 10 fighter. The mighty deed die in DCCRPG is like if a battle master could use on of his superiority die maneuvers every attack. While in The Black Hack 2e, a level 10 fighter can attack 10 separate enemies (or less for bigger hits) and with the way the system works, they are just much more dangerous to stronger monsters than a level 1.

I think a lot of you guys would find the D&D you want in OSR games. My recommendation is Stars Without Number, until the author makes his traditional fantasy game for next year (though SWN plus Codex of the Black Sun is all you need for a fantasy game). I recommend that system because it has customization bits like foci (feats on roids) that would keep a more modern gamer entertained.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-07, 06:19 AM
Do we need a "6e?" They're barely releasing content for 5th as it is.

I'd rather see them release official versions of other genres entirely using the now-ubiquitous design principles of 5th - like modern, cyberpunk, space opera, alternate history, steampunk etc.

But I already own good games in all of those genres, some of which do things that the 5e structure can't allow (noncombat focus, detailed sanity mechanics, more flexible character creation...). Why do I need a cyberpunk game based on the 5e engine when I own Cyberpunnk? (as well as Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase, I like science fiction a lot*.) Or a modern day version when I really like Unknown Armies. Or any of these when I own not only Savage Worlds, but also Fate, Fuzion, and GURPS?

In fact, a big problem with 5e is that all the roleplaying mechanics were outdated when the game was released. They're so tacked on that they just get ignored, compared to Aspects in Fate, Triggers in Unknown Armies, Shock Gauges in Unknown Armies 3e, or other mechanics systems have been build around.

* Counting it, I own 8 different science fiction games, not counting SF/fantasy crosses but including a Steampunk game. I own about as many pure fantasy games, but one is a retroclone and two are solidly Urban Fantasy.


I'd like to see D&D 6e go to a skill-based system with standard templates for the classes, implement a robust e-publishing system to reduce costs and production times as well as allow for periodic content updates and errata, and leverage the creativity of the community with online tools that allow the community to connect and share their creativity while strengthening the WotC brand.

But I own GURPS, why do I need another GURPS? :smalltongue:

In all seriousness, I'd enjoy it if 6e wasn't a thing. In fact, if WotC just quietly stopped selling D&D books I couldn't care less, I haven't bought one in over a year (and that was a third party one).

Brookshw
2019-09-07, 08:01 AM
I'd like to see D&D 6e go to a skill-based system with standard templates for the classes, implement a robust e-publishing system to reduce costs and production times as well as allow for periodic content updates and errata, and leverage the creativity of the community with online tools that allow the community to connect and share their creativity while strengthening the WotC brand.

I expect this is pretty close to what they'll end up doing, offering people the opportunity to monetize homebrew in exchange for a cut as they do with the DM's Guild, coupled with further leaning into a quasi-SaaS model as they've started to with D&D beyond. Print products will continue to go away, not because of costs associated with print, but because they don't get a piece of the resale market. Can't imagine (or at least I seriously hope) they won't go completely away from print, but we'll see.

Psyren
2019-09-07, 01:03 PM
The Black Hack 2e.

Most certainly D&D, it's a $6 PDF read. Give it a shot. It's a rules light game with a ton of GM tools.

I'm good thanks. I could have been clearer - I'm personally not interested in anything lighter than 5e.


Well, on-topic...
1) Drop the "normal adventure day" balancing. I have never, in my 7 years with TTRPGs, mostly D&D, seen an adventuring day go as "5-6 encounters". I very rarely even saw a day with more than 3 fights. Most fun fights were actually a single deadly combat after which you could have a long rest or something. The adventuring day paradigm is also harmful since it doesn't allow for anything at-will to be powerful or fun.

Okay, this is a very fair point; I would love to see a system that is built around a different resource than x/day. Like, if someone took either Recharge Magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/rechargeMagic.htm) or Mana/Spell Points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm) (along with other ways for them to recharge besides resting) and made them a lot more functional, you could end up with as many encounters in a day as you could possibly want, and/or "days" that span across multiple sessions.



2) Either curb spellcaster narrative growth significantly or make martials grow too. A Wizard 1 and Wizard 20 are incomparable. One can put a guy to sleep, the other can rip open portals to other planes, warp reality itself, or, at least, summon meteor showers. A Fighter 1 and Fighter 20 are basically the same, it's just that Fighter 20 hits harder and faster and can take more damage.

Alternatively, get rid of the 20-levels scheme. 5e already doesn't need 20 levels and it shows. You can easily condense everything in 5e to 10 levels, maybe even 8. You can adjust proficiency to those, 1-10 isn't much harsher on bounded accuracy than 2-6.

I think condensing levels is a fine idea; martials keeping perfect parity with magic-users less so.


But I already own good games in all of those genres, some of which do things that the 5e structure can't allow (noncombat focus, detailed sanity mechanics, more flexible character creation...). Why do I need a cyberpunk game based on the 5e engine when I own Cyberpunnk? (as well as Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase, I like science fiction a lot*.) Or a modern day version when I really like Unknown Armies. Or any of these when I own not only Savage Worlds, but also Fate, Fuzion, and GURPS?

You may not, but there's an untapped market for many others who aren't going to give something like GURPS or Savage Worlds even the merest glance, nor frankly should they be forced to.


In all seriousness, I'd enjoy it if 6e wasn't a thing. In fact, if WotC just quietly stopped selling D&D books I couldn't care less, I haven't bought one in over a year (and that was a third party one).

Like it or not, D&D introduced many folks to this hobby that wouldn't have otherwise even tried it. WotC stopping isn't going to make any of these more obscure systems suddenly attractive.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-07, 02:03 PM
You may not, but there's an untapped market for many others who aren't going to give something like GURPS or Savage Worlds even the merest glance, nor frankly should they be forced to.

The problem is that Cyber5e is just going to be a worse Cyberpunk game than Cyberpunk (which, if Red is released at the same time as 2077, might be seeing an upswing in popularity in the next year or so). Then there are the even more niche games that 5e clones aren't going to go into because it's not worth shaping the system to fit.

Take In Nomine. Now the biggest problem I have with running it is that one player in the group I'm refuses to play anything even touching the mythology the game draws from (annoyingly stopping me from doing anything thematically complex with fiends and celestials in any game), but it's not only such a specific niche of urban fantasy that a 5e clone is unlikely to touch it, but the very setup doesn't support a class structure. Sure you could shoehorn one in, seven Heavenly classes, seven Infernal ones, maybe a handful for mortal Soldiers, then use Feats for such things as Servitor Attunements, but the game flows much more naturall from a race+skill setup.

But here's the thing, I've never had a problem with people playing D&D (unless you're forcing me to play only it, I have hundreds of pounds invested in other games). I've had a problem with torturing the mechanics of D&D to play genre X when there's games right there which will do it perfect, and likely for less than you paid for D&D. IF you want Firefly you could make D&D kind of work if you squint, or you can buy Scum & Villainy for less than £20, notice how one of the player ships is modelled after Serenity and that the Playbooks map very nicely to the crew, and have some fun with a new system.

But those people who do 'D&D but X'? I don't think they'd go out and buy '5e space opera' instead of just sitting at home and trying to rework D&D. Even worse it runs the risk of getting into the 2e setting problems, just with a bunch of different genres instead of worlds. Would a Dungeons & Dragons ffan be interested in a Perils & Planets book? How about a Chrome & Copper one? Fairies & Firearms? Pistons & Petticoats? Knights & Knaves? Devils & Demiurges?


Like it or not, D&D introduced many folks to this hobby that wouldn't have otherwise even tried it. WotC stopping isn't going to make any of these more obscure systems suddenly attractive.

Eh, it's not going to make them any less attractive. Honestly the bit that disappoints me is that my local game store obviously puts the RPGs it expects to sell next to D&D (so that's where you can find the Middle Earth, Warhammer, and other big names), and yet whenever I go in I always see at least one person buying D&D (sometimes their second or third copy of the book) and nobody buying the other downstairs RPGs. Although I've seen those bought more than the upstairs ones.

But the reality is, I don't care. I don't want WotC to stop selling D&D books, I don't want them to make more. I'm over buying more D&D, I don't care about it at all, and I almost have every D&D book I want anyway (just need to grab a PoD version of the Rules Cyclopedia to go with my pdf). If they stopped printing them and let it die I wouldn't care, if they printed a hundred next year I wouldn't care. I'll just try to get people to play In Nomine instead, I like the themes more.

Morty
2019-09-07, 02:22 PM
Take In Nomine. Now the biggest problem I have with running it is that one player in the group I'm refuses to play anything even touching the mythology the game draws from (annoyingly stopping me from doing anything thematically complex with fiends and celestials in any game), but it's not only such a specific niche of urban fantasy that a 5e clone is unlikely to touch it, but the very setup doesn't support a class structure. Sure you could shoehorn one in, seven Heavenly classes, seven Infernal ones, maybe a handful for mortal Soldiers, then use Feats for such things as Servitor Attunements, but the game flows much more naturall from a race+skill setup.

But here's the thing, I've never had a problem with people playing D&D (unless you're forcing me to play only it, I have hundreds of pounds invested in other games). I've had a problem with torturing the mechanics of D&D to play genre X when there's games right there which will do it perfect, and likely for less than you paid for D&D. IF you want Firefly you could make D&D kind of work if you squint, or you can buy Scum & Villainy for less than £20, notice how one of the player ships is modelled after Serenity and that the Playbooks map very nicely to the crew, and have some fun with a new system.

But those people who do 'D&D but X'? I don't think they'd go out and buy '5e space opera' instead of just sitting at home and trying to rework D&D. Even worse it runs the risk of getting into the 2e setting problems, just with a bunch of different genres instead of worlds. Would a Dungeons & Dragons ffan be interested in a Perils & Planets book? How about a Chrome & Copper one? Fairies & Firearms? Pistons & Petticoats? Knights & Knaves? Devils & Demiurges?


Yeah. D&D works, for a certain degree of "working", in its own narrow genre of fantasy. Trying to adapt those mechanics to other genres would be hammering a square peg into a round hole. There's nothing particularly special about D&D mechanics that would make it worth the effort, either. Such a game might still outsell other RPGs due to having WotC's marketing behind it, but... how is that a good thing again?

Brookshw
2019-09-07, 02:34 PM
But those people who do 'D&D but X'? I don't think they'd go out and buy '5e space opera' instead of just sitting at home and trying to rework D&D. Even worse it runs the risk of getting into the 2e setting problems, just with a bunch of different genres instead of worlds. Would a Dungeons & Dragons ffan be interested in a Perils & Planets book? How about a Chrome & Copper one? Fairies & Firearms? Pistons & Petticoats? Knights & Knaves? Devils & Demiurges?


Don't know why you think that. Modern/Future/Apocalypse/Legend of the Five Rings and all the other 3/3.5e D20 spinoffs were fine (at least those that I played) and I can say for my group we were happy to shell out a bit of cash rather than have to homebrew up such a massive amount of content. There is certainly a market out there. Whether the ROI outweighs the opportunity costs is another matter and a valid question.


Yeah. D&D works, for a certain degree of "working", in its own narrow genre of fantasy. Trying to adapt those mechanics to other genres would be hammering a square peg into a round hole. There's nothing particularly special about D&D mechanics that would make it worth the effort, either. Such a game might still outsell other RPGs due to having WotC's marketing behind it, but... how is that a good thing again?

Sure, but many other games do a terrible job of what they're designed for. Shadowrun is terrible at being Shadowrun, the system and character development is clunky, the different sub-games a'la hacking/magic can split the party something fierce so people sit around twiddling thumbs waiting for someone's private adventure to end. Reasonably streamlined mechanics are what sell people, toss in something familiar and it's even easier. Having to learn a few hundred of pages of rules to play a game before you even know if you'll like it is a far higher barrier to entry than picking up a game that uses mechanics which are already familiar to you.

Quertus
2019-09-07, 03:32 PM
As compared to what? Earlier editions of D&D?

I had a "What do you want changed for 6th edition" thread planned. But since this is here I'll throw in my biggest (which is not to say most likely) hope for future editions of D&D. I want combat to be sped up even more. The best combats I have ever been in took 6 roles to resolve. That would be a very short combat in D&D. For all the great moments that have happened in combat, there seems to always be an excess of rounds of waiting for those moments to come. Maybe getting rid of the "you will fight multiple (usually meaningless) fights a day" culture that surrounds the game would help.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty unlikely idea. Combat is part of the core of D&D and in my mind to its detriment in a few cases. But not everyone agrees with that.

My BHD party, we could complete combat in just a few rolls (initiative, a few PCs get to attack, done) and very little time (everybody knew the rules & their characters, and took their turns quickly). We'd breeze through combat so quickly, the limiting factor was how long it took the GM to set up the board. We could (probably, I never counted) have dozens of fights per session - which was good, because we often went several sessions of murdering monstrous civilizations like they were humans per in-game day / before we would stop to rest.

So, for us, 3e sounds like your dream of 6e.

Still, I agree with the post that I failed to quote, that moving away from x/day resources would be a good idea.

Psyren
2019-09-07, 03:41 PM
The problem is that Cyber5e is just going to be a worse Cyberpunk game than Cyberpunk (which, if Red is released at the same time as 2077, might be seeing an upswing in popularity in the next year or so). Then there are the even more niche games that 5e clones aren't going to go into because it's not worth shaping the system to fit.

Uh... putting aside that I highly doubt you have a crystal ball knocking around, it doesn't have to be a better example of its genre than other games. Hell, even the thing D&D does best (pseudo-medieval fantasy), I find hard to believe that TTRPG connoisseurs would agree is the best example of that genre. What it is though is the most accessible, so any new genres they release are far more likely to get an audience interested than any number of forgettable obscura.



But here's the thing, I've never had a problem with people playing D&D (unless you're forcing me to play only it, I have hundreds of pounds invested in other games). I've had a problem with torturing the mechanics of D&D to play genre X when there's games right there which will do it perfect, and likely for less than you paid for D&D.


Yeah. D&D works, for a certain degree of "working", in its own narrow genre of fantasy. Trying to adapt those mechanics to other genres would be hammering a square peg into a round hole.

You two are thinking way too narrowly about the term "mechanics" :smallconfused:

Literally all you need to make a game feel like 5e mechanically are attributes, classes, roll d20+modifier-and-compare-to-target-number as conflict resolution, bounded accuracy, and advantage/disadvantage. You can make any genre of TTRPG with those building blocks, including all of the ones I mentioned previously.



But those people who do 'D&D but X'? I don't think they'd go out and buy '5e space opera' instead of just sitting at home and trying to rework D&D. Even worse it runs the risk of getting into the 2e setting problems, just with a bunch of different genres instead of worlds. Would a Dungeons & Dragons ffan be interested in a Perils & Planets book? How about a Chrome & Copper one? Fairies & Firearms? Pistons & Petticoats? Knights & Knaves? Devils & Demiurges?

Starfinder outsold Pathfinder on release (https://nerdsonearth.com/2018/09/starfinder-roleplaying-game/), and was the 2nd-most popular TTRPG at that time overall. I would say that reskinning a popular game to fit with a new niche is a fine strategy for a game company to pursue.



Eh, it's not going to make them any less attractive. Honestly the bit that disappoints me is that my local game store obviously puts the RPGs it expects to sell next to D&D (so that's where you can find the Middle Earth, Warhammer, and other big names), and yet whenever I go in I always see at least one person buying D&D (sometimes their second or third copy of the book) and nobody buying the other downstairs RPGs. Although I've seen those bought more than the upstairs ones.

Sounds like you've seen the problem with pushing obscure brands firsthand. Which makes your stance even more baffling to me, if I'm honest.



But the reality is, I don't care. I don't want WotC to stop selling D&D books, I don't want them to make more. I'm over buying more D&D, I don't care about it at all, and I almost have every D&D book I want anyway (just need to grab a PoD version of the Rules Cyclopedia to go with my pdf). If they stopped printing them and let it die I wouldn't care, if they printed a hundred next year I wouldn't care. I'll just try to get people to play In Nomine instead, I like the themes more.

Cool, good luck with that.

Cluedrew
2019-09-07, 03:41 PM
I think condensing levels is a fine idea; martials keeping perfect parity with magic-users less so.Why not? This is a serious question I'm curious about your reasons.


Like it or not, D&D introduced many folks to this hobby that wouldn't have otherwise even tried it. WotC stopping isn't going to make any of these more obscure systems suddenly attractive.Not in the short term, but in the long term it frees up the slot of "iconic RPG" that something else could fill. Hopefully something more approachable, D&D may have introduced people to the hobby but the perception that all RPGs are like D&D has driven people away. I have had people refuse to play a system whose rules fit on an index card because RPGs are too complicated.

Possibly best of all would be if multiple systems were widely known. That might happen before the world ends.

Also this question is kind of irrelevant as D&D will continue to be published as long as it turns a profit.

To Quertus: I see. Although maybe I should of put that slightly differently. How many consecutive rounds of whipping out the opposition would you describe as interesting?

Psyren
2019-09-07, 03:54 PM
Why not? This is a serious question I'm curious about your reasons.


Because for me, magic being superior to/more capable overall than not-magic is the point of magic, even if there's a hefty cost to its use. There've been dozens and dozens of 50-page threads hashing that out further over the years (you can probably find a number of them by searching my post history) so I'll avoid derailing further here.

Well, except for this one addition - I'm actually fine with high-level martial classes gaining some forms of innate magic, so long as there are certain aspects of magic that only dedicated spellcasters can achieve. So for example, a high-level Rogue being able to do things like teleport through shadows, form items out of shadow, or disappear while being observed, I'd be okay with. But having them heal wounds, bind demons and raise the dead, not so much.



Not in the short term, but in the long term it frees up the slot of "iconic RPG" that something else could fill.

It won't. Even when D&D crapped the bed (4e) so badly that they lost the top spot, it took them all of one edition to reclaim their crown, and in the meantime the thing that held it was just D&D 3e + some stuff. There was certainly no vacuum or scramble for multiple replacements that resulted.


Hopefully something more approachable, D&D may have introduced people to the hobby but the perception that all RPGs are like D&D has driven people away. I have had people refuse to play a system whose rules fit on an index card because RPGs are too complicated.

My honest opinion is that the folks who consider 5e of all things to be too complicated may just not be possible to interest in TTRPGs at all. There are certainly some individuals at the center of that particular Venn diagram, but the sliver is so vanishingly small that I don't think it's worth the effort to get them on board.



Also this question is kind of irrelevant as D&D will continue to be published as long as it turns a profit.

Nah, it'll be published even if it doesn't. The brand is too valuable to let lay fallow for long.

Cluedrew
2019-09-07, 04:21 PM
Because for me, magic being superior to/more capable overall than not-magic is the point of magic, even if there's a hefty cost to its use. There've been dozens and dozens of 50-page threads hashing that out further over the years (you can probably find a number of them by searching my post history) so I'll avoid derailing further here.

Well, except for this one addition - I'm actually fine with high-level martial classes gaining some forms of innate magic, so long as there are certain aspects of magic that only dedicated spellcasters can achieve. So for example, a high-level Rogue being able to do things like teleport through shadows, form items out of shadow, or disappear while being observed, I'd be okay with. But having them heal wounds, bind demons and raise the dead, not so much.OK than why have non-magic player characters at all? For people who want to play underdogs or something? (Sorry but this is way faster than trying to search your post history.)
To Psyren: Rapid fire replies:
I understand, I was not kidding when I said LONG term. Or could for that matter.
Its a matter of perception, the system I was offering was simpler still than 5e. And even if it is an excuse I think it is telling that it is the most obvious bad thing someone would reach for.
Really? Even if 6th and 7th edition run red you think they would keep publishing it?

Rhedyn
2019-09-07, 05:09 PM
I'm good thanks. I could have been clearer - I'm personally not interested in anything lighter than 5e.
Both Stars Without Number and Godbound have legal free versions. I think those games are both lighter than D&D 5e and much more interesting.

I also suggest looking at Savage Worlds for a game equal such but covers a lot more.

Psyren
2019-09-07, 05:24 PM
OK than why have non-magic player characters at all? For people who want to play underdogs or something? (Sorry but this is way faster than trying to search your post history.)

That is indeed one reason - whether for pure challenge or to roleplay fantasy tropes like Conan - but there are other reasons too:

- For starters. I see a clear difference between "casting" and "magic" - I think every character ends up being "magic" eventually, even if that's just through items. So I'm actually not of the opinion that "non-magic" player characters truly exist in the first place, at least at high levels.

- Assuming that by "magic" you meant spellcasting, it's worth pointing out that that requires learning a whole additional subsystem of the game - whether it's how to learn and prepare spells, how schools and descriptors work, how range and targeting work, how spell resistance and saving throws work, how line of sight and line of effect work, how buff and penalty stacking works, and so on. A not-insignificant portion of any TTRPG audience, especially those newer to a particular ruleset, would rather leave all that to their friends and just want to be a badass who swings a pointy stick around. Sure they'll end up playing casters eventually, but having options for the folks who don't want that is very important.

- As mentioned - while I'm fine with martial classes gaining access to specific thematically appropriate magical abilities at higher levels, like rogues having an affinity for shadow and barbarians having an affinity for emotion, blood, or fire magic - I think those dedicated to spellcasting should have a wider variety of abilities available, including some that are unique to their specific means of practicing magic. Nobody should be as good at healing other people as a cleric for instance, it's part of their class identity. For me it's a suspension of disbelief thing - if you could do all the things a cleric can do without being a cleric (and all the faith/piety/etc that entails) it begs the question of why anyone would bother with being a cleric and why are the gods themselves so special anyway.



To Psyren: Rapid fire replies:
I understand, I was not kidding when I said LONG term. Or could for that matter.
Its a matter of perception, the system I was offering was simpler still than 5e. And even if it is an excuse I think it is telling that it is the most obvious bad thing someone would reach for.
Really? Even if 6th and 7th edition run red you think they would keep publishing it?


I do. Note that 5e has changed our definition of what "publishing" even means - they can survive and maintain the brand despite a paltry 1-3 rulebooks per year. So an edition can be actively printing and still have very little in the way of new mainline content. Of course WotC has a lot more freedom to do that than any other publisher since Daddy Magic is bringing in a more regular stream of bacon. Nobody can truly compete with that, not even Paizo.


Both Stars Without Number and Godbound have legal free versions. I think those games are both lighter than D&D 5e and much more interesting.

I also suggest looking at Savage Worlds for a game equal such but covers a lot more.

Your persistence is admirable.

gooddragon1
2019-09-07, 05:32 PM
So, for us, 3e sounds like your dream of 6e.


3.5 still exists, so that's good, but not the best.

Imo, if done correctly, jjordan's suggestion could grant more options than 3.5 while retaining all 3.5 options and full reverse compatibility. That should lead to a strictly better version. I used to think 3.5 was the pinnacle, but jjordan's suggestion may lead to an even greater version than 3.5, imo.

3.5 has low as dirt power level (commoners with handguns), and epic Neutronium Golem power level and beyond, but this would potentially add more options with skill based options, fixed feature 3.5 classes, and hybrids in any direction perhaps even with each player using a different variant in the same campaign. Yes, a homebrew could be devised, but building a new system to accommodate all these might make things smoother and more interesting. With full reverse compatibility, all the previous material would also be usable.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-07, 05:37 PM
Both Stars Without Number and Godbound have legal free versions. I think those games are both lighter than D&D 5e and much more interesting.

I also suggest looking at Savage Worlds for a game equal such but covers a lot more.

I have the free version of Godbound, it's a weirdly good Scion/D&D mashing, and I like Scion in concept (although these days I'm more focused on In Nomine).

Not a fan of SWN though. It's not a bad game, but I dislike SF games which put such a focus on Psionics without them being the point (I like psi-punk, even working on some stories in the genre, but I'm not a fan if it's a secondary element). To me the science fiction Archetype triad is Soldier/Engineer/Scoundrel, so I'm more partial to Scum & Villainy's classes (Mechanics, Muscles, Mystics, Pilots, Scoundrels, Socialites, and Stitches/Doctors), I'm using a similar Archetype split in my home brew system (Brutes, Engineers, Faces, Scientists, and Shadows).

Morty
2019-09-07, 05:40 PM
Both Stars Without Number and Godbound have legal free versions. I think those games are both lighter than D&D 5e and much more interesting.

I also suggest looking at Savage Worlds for a game equal such but covers a lot more.

I do need to finally look into Savage Worlds. It does sound like it hits on quite a few things I like in a system.

And I do agree with OP that an edition of D&D that tries to intentionally introduce varied power levels could be interesting and impressive. I just can't see WotC doing it. Paizo might have, but they decided to do... something with PF2E instead.

Quertus
2019-09-07, 06:19 PM
To Quertus: I see. Although maybe I should of put that slightly differently. How many consecutive rounds of whipping out the opposition would you describe as interesting?

For the BDH party? They had character. Combat - wading through their foes like they were humans - was the backdrop, the "you see a 10'x10' stone corridor, 60' long, ending in a set of double doors". It was the ambiance. The real gameplay for that party - the real challenges they faced - were convincing the townsfolk, quest-givers, and various "friendly" NPCs that we were the good guys. Or, at least, the lesser of two evils. It was dealing with a party that didn't map, whose first priority was going through any secret doors - even if they led out of the secret area that they were already in. It was the innuendo and double entendre that that party practically breathed. How much combat would be interesting? As much as describing dungeon layout in a normal game - ie, more or less infinite.

Every combat was another opportunity for every character who actually got to go to shine. Normally, I'm all about optimizing for "participation", but I've never seen a party as shiny as this one, able to share the shine at the speed of initiative. Getting to shine, over and over, never got old.

Those combats that did last more than half a round before they were over in all but name? Those were the monsters that got our attention, that felt awesome - I mean, they stood up to these guys, who waded through such and such threat like it was human, so this encounter that is actually lasting / threatening this party must be pretty cool.

Does that answer the question you want to ask, or will we go a third round?

Rhedyn
2019-09-07, 06:38 PM
I have the free version of Godbound, it's a weirdly good Scion/D&D mashing, and I like Scion in concept (although these days I'm more focused on In Nomine).

Not a fan of SWN though. It's not a bad game, but I dislike SF games which put such a focus on Psionics without them being the point (I like psi-punk, even working on some stories in the genre, but I'm not a fan if it's a secondary element). To me the science fiction Archetype triad is Soldier/Engineer/Scoundrel, so I'm more partial to Scum & Villainy's classes (Mechanics, Muscles, Mystics, Pilots, Scoundrels, Socialites, and Stitches/Doctors), I'm using a similar Archetype split in my home brew system (Brutes, Engineers, Faces, Scientists, and Shadows). Yeah SWN takes the approach that engineering is a skill not a class. The psionics are optional, but I like them. Hell, I like Codex of the Black Sun too which makes traditional magic more psychic.


I do need to finally look into Savage Worlds. It does sound like it hits on quite a few things I like in a system. The current Savage Worlds Adventure Edition is great and remains backwards compatible. The whole RPG ecosystem scratches a lot of 3.5 D&D itches I have without being more crunchy than D&D 5e.

And you can play the Rifts setting with it via official first party support. Damn flexible system, but very much not D&D. No HP, no classes, basically no d20 rolls.

Telok
2019-09-07, 07:12 PM
For 6e I'd like them to actually test and develop the add-on subsystems that they promised for 5e. Strongholds, domains, sea adventures, planar adventuring, etc., instead of wanting me to pay WotC for downloads of fan made materials.

I'd like a system where 20th level, super genius, archmages didn't fail an average 'know something about magic' check 15% of the time. Where a 6 Int ape can't make that same roll 20% of the time. Where high level characters make all their saving throws more often than they did at first level, rather than just one or two saves getting better.

I'd like for it to be a system where we don't still get 12+ page threads on different interpretations of stealth and invisibility rules three years and several errata versions after release. Where I never feel like getting to roll a check is some sort of failure. Where a melee weapon attack, a melee attack with a weapon, and an attack with a weapon in melee aren't mechanically different and I don't have to care if the word 'attack' is capitalized or not.

I'd like for there to be honest and useful sections for DMs in the adventures that tell them if the adventure is good for beginner DMs and/or players. That tell the DM how much work they'll have to do to make the adventure usable. That at least some of the adventures are made to be usable outside of one world setting without massive rewrites.

Cluedrew
2019-09-07, 07:57 PM
That is indeed one reason - whether for pure challenge or to roleplay fantasy tropes like Conan - but there are other reasons too: [...]Cool, for an off topic tangent that is good enough. Thanks.


Does that answer the question you want to ask, or will we go a third round?In a way you were perhaps not expecting, but yes it did.

Inspired by Telok's post in a weird inverse way. I wouldn't mind seeing a system for horizontal growth. Either as something you can do instead of a level up or maybe only at the transition between tiers? Also I think breaking the game into explicate tiers with a "class change" between them. I think that would solve a lot of problems, give more direction in shaping a character while keeping to the class system.

Telok
2019-09-07, 09:03 PM
You could do horizontal growth through feats. Just lay down a rule that feats never add or change numbers, they can only add new options or allow new combos of abilities. Neatly avoids the sharp shooter / great weapon master / power attack problems, makes it so you can't haff-ass the saves math and rely on feat taxes to fix it, and prevents skill focus / toughness traps. It won't save you from 'air breathing mermaid' type feats, but I'm not sure how to avoid that sort of problem except by having a clear vision for the game before writing the rules.

Thinking about it, something else I'd like for 6e is built in support for stunts and awesome. Currently, for the last few editions, if you wanted to try a stunt or something you'd better have the skill/training, a decent bonus, and roll high on a d20 to boot. In exchange you might get a +2, or advantage, or do regular attack damage, in exchange for all your multiple attacks and your bonus damage and none of your class features applying or helping.

Morty
2019-09-08, 02:00 PM
I do think an official edition of D&D could benefit a lot from taking a page off E6, in terms of letting players "cut off" or slow down progression at a certain point. If you want to keep playing after level 6 without becoming significantly more powerful than people around you, or past level 10 without crossing from the "fantasy superhero" tier to the "low-key demigod" one. And so on.

Pleh
2019-09-08, 05:37 PM
I'd like a system where 20th level, super genius, archmages didn't fail an average 'know something about magic' check 15% of the time.

Isn't this just saying, "I hate bounded accuracy"?

Honestly, I find it weirder that people expect experts in a field to therefore be omniscient in their field.

"I got to level 20 by casting and studying Fireball exclusively, but now that I've become a wizard legend, I understand all magic I see." There will always be gaps in an academic's study, even in their field of expertise.

Honestly, I like bounded accuracy in 5e. When I see arguments that this high level wizard should be more knowledgable than the bounded accuracy allows, that tells me the players were rolling dice when it wasn't necessary.

"How could my fireball specialist fail to identify a fireball?" I think it's a fair argument for high level, high intelligence wizards to identify many sorts of simpler magics without rolling. You should only have to roll when there's a reasonable chance of failure. Say, 15% for example.

Rhedyn
2019-09-08, 05:50 PM
Isn't this just saying, "I hate bounded accuracy"?

Honestly, I find it weirder that people expect experts in a field to therefore be omniscient in their field.

"I got to level 20 by casting and studying Fireball exclusively, but now that I've become a wizard legend, I understand all magic I see." There will always be gaps in an academic's study, even in their field of expertise.

Honestly, I like bounded accuracy in 5e. When I see arguments that this high level wizard should be more knowledgable than the bounded accuracy allows, that tells me the players were rolling dice when it wasn't necessary.

"How could my fireball specialist fail to identify a fireball?" I think it's a fair argument for high level, high intelligence wizards to identify many sorts of simpler magics without rolling. You should only have to roll when there's a reasonable chance of failure. Say, 15% for example.

A good chunk of the problems with the D&D 5e skill system are fixed if you replace the d20 roll with 3d6 for skills and only skills.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-08, 05:54 PM
You should only have to roll when there's a reasonable chance of failure. Say, 15% for example.

I agree. But I'll add, you should only have to roll (even if there's a reasonable chance of failure) if there are interesting consequences for failure. That condition removes most of the odd situations.

Oh, and if people remember that the DM calls for rolls, not the player, then that archmage knows lots of stuff that the common man doesn't. Because the DM doesn't call for a roll from either--one just knows it, the other just doesn't.

But I also agree with your puzzlement re: specializations. I'm a hard-science PhD (Computational Quantum Chemistry). Ask me something about, say, high-energy physics or QED or other slightly related subfields, and I'm not going to be much better than an informed layperson. If I attend[1] talks by those guys on their stuff, I could catch...maybe 20%? Maybe? And adventuring wizards aren't academics--they're very much hands-on applied types. And having known lots of hands-on applied types, their knowledge of theory is exactly as much as they need to do what they consider much more interesting (which is to say not very big at all). The idea that "magic" is a single topic that someone could know about globally instead of mastering little tiny specialties and a bunch of applied techniques is rather odd to me.

[1] or attended, I'm nearly 8 years out from my PhD and haven't kept up with it much because I'm out of that field mostly now.

Pleh
2019-09-08, 08:55 PM
A good chunk of the problems with the D&D 5e skill system are fixed if you replace the d20 roll with 3d6 for skills and only skills.

Fair, though advantage/disadvantage might become a headache, adding dice over and over.

Rhedyn
2019-09-08, 09:57 PM
Fair, though advantage/disadvantage might become a headache, adding dice over and over.Pff now it has 3 tiers

Roll 4d6 take 3 highest/lowest
Roll 5d6 take 3 highest/lowest
Roll 6d6 take 3 highest/lowest

In fact, now I want to replace the combat d20 with 3d6 and make all the situational modifiers stack but lead to an Xd6 roll where you take the 3 highest/lowest. That way there could be a difference between flanking a blind dude who has the high ground and charging downhill against braced spearmen. The system could stay simple by saying everything is just +1 die of advantage/disadvantage.

Ignimortis
2019-09-09, 01:24 AM
You should check out DCCRPG and/or The Black Hack 2e.

The max is level is 10 and a level 1 Fighter is nothing compared to a level 10 fighter. The mighty deed die in DCCRPG is like if a battle master could use on of his superiority die maneuvers every attack. While in The Black Hack 2e, a level 10 fighter can attack 10 separate enemies (or less for bigger hits) and with the way the system works, they are just much more dangerous to stronger monsters than a level 1.

I think a lot of you guys would find the D&D you want in OSR games. My recommendation is Stars Without Number, until the author makes his traditional fantasy game for next year (though SWN plus Codex of the Black Sun is all you need for a fantasy game). I recommend that system because it has customization bits like foci (feats on roids) that would keep a more modern gamer entertained.

Thing is, I'm mostly thinking about differences that are "actual new abilities" instead of "more numbers\attacks per turn\hp". And OSR has consistently proved to be not my thing, since those games tend to be crunchy in all the wrong places and kinda hollow in places I actually like to be crunchy.



I think condensing levels is a fine idea; martials keeping perfect parity with magic-users less so.


It's not about perfect parity. It's more about Fighters getting sword beams, super-jump powers, AoE attacks, fantastic inspiration or intimidation (you can turn a mob of scared peasants into a small army of valiant heroes without actually transforming them physically, just through being an impossibly inspiring leader). Something that isn't "I swing my sword one more time now". Barbarians can get ancestral spirits and some magic from them, Rangers can find portals to other planes in the world, Rogues can hide in plain sight and teleport through shadows, etc.

Telok
2019-09-09, 01:34 AM
I don't hate bounded accuracy, I just think the 5e model is terrible. Mostly because I kept seeing sessions turn into Three Stooges skits when DMs followed the written adventures and called for bunches of checks.

I have a Paranoia edition that's bounded accuracy, but it's supposed to be a Three Stooges skit with lasers and grenades. Plus it does degrees of success and failure. Call of Cthulhu and BRP are bounded by being d100 roll under. Hero system skills are bounded and don't have D&D 5e tendency to make the die more important than the character and the player. If 5e was supposed to be a comedy game it's bounded accuracy would be near perfect.

The physics example would work if there were subcategories of arcana to specialize in, runes, wards, summons, etc. Then you could equate mastery of a specific subset of physics to mastery of a specific subset of arcana. You would also need some chunk of physics that an Int 6 ape could succeed at 1/5th the time.

I don't hate the concept of bounded accuracy, some of my favorite games implement it. It's just that 5e ability checks turn out Paranoia style results and that's usually not what people want in D&D.

Ignimortis
2019-09-09, 01:48 AM
Isn't this just saying, "I hate bounded accuracy"?

Bounded accuracy has its' place, and, IMO, its' place is not in the heroic fantasy genre, which D&D strives to emulate above all others. Heroic fantasy should push characters' own capabilities to the forefront, and 5e pushes the RNG instead.

Most 5e numbers would be much better if they were doubled. A proficiency bonus of 2 at 1st level is fine. What's not fine is that it's +4 at level 9, halfway through the game (and usually at the end of a campaign). A better distribution would be +1 for every two levels, so +3 at 3rd, +4 at 5th, etc.

Stats could also benefit from a PF 2e-style change - each 4 levels you get +2 to four of your stats, independent of class levels and feats, stats cap out at 30 instead of 20, and a typical character gets to 26-28 in their main stat by 20. This keeps the dice relevant at low levels and allows heroes to supercede the RNG when they've gone past the normal bounds.

Pleh
2019-09-09, 04:32 AM
Pff now it has 3 tiers

Roll 4d6 take 3 highest/lowest
Roll 5d6 take 3 highest/lowest
Roll 6d6 take 3 highest/lowest

In fact, now I want to replace the combat d20 with 3d6 and make all the situational modifiers stack but lead to an Xd6 roll where you take the 3 highest/lowest. That way there could be a difference between flanking a blind dude who has the high ground and charging downhill against braced spearmen. The system could stay simple by saying everything is just +1 die of advantage/disadvantage.

Wait, so if you have multiple sources of disadvantage, you roll fewer dice (fewer chance of success) or more (more chance of failure)? Or is disadvantage only telling you to keep the lowest dice?

I admit I'm confused by your simple mechanic.

Mordante
2019-09-09, 06:59 AM
I'd like to see D&D 6e go to a skill-based system with standard templates for the classes, implement a robust e-publishing system to reduce costs and production times as well as allow for periodic content updates and errata, and leverage the creativity of the community with online tools that allow the community to connect and share their creativity while strengthening the WotC brand.

I like your ideas.

Also I would like get rid of Hit Points increase and get rid of Character Levels.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-09, 07:09 AM
I like your ideas.

Also I would like get rid of Hit Points increase and get rid of Character Levels.

Translation--

"I want D&D 6e to be nothing like D&D and instead be a GURPS-clone." Class/level system, d20s, and increasing HP are some of the hallmarks of the mechanics of D&D.

This topic makes me sad. What I see is a bunch of people, many of whom self-admittedly don't like D&D saying that D&D should stop being D&D and be more like <favored game>. Which is fine, but it's neither useful nor plausible. Even 4e, which got hammered for "not feeling like D&D" didn't do anything nearly that radical.

And there are plenty of other systems you can use if that's what you want. But some people (myself included) like the core of D&D and don't want it ruined by making it just another skill/point-buy system.
----------------
For me, personally, I hope that if 6e is ever released, it's a long time from now. Barring tinkering around the edges, 5e does everything I want from a D&D system. And a slow release pace (for player options) is a plus for me, not a minus. Reasons:
* It helps keep quality higher. TSR (and lots of 3e) showed that a fast pace means massive quality control problems.
* It lets them focus on things they do well, namely adventures.
* It doesn't fragment the landscape or force people to buy dozens of books for that one EPIC COMBO.
* It helps keep power creep somewhat under control while not flooding the market with trap options.
* It leaves a larger landscape for 3pp and private homebrew work.

And it's hard to argue that the slow pace is a bad business decision, considering that the (very much smaller) 5e team is selling more books than ever before, with more active players than ever before.

Rhedyn
2019-09-09, 07:26 AM
Wait, so if you have multiple sources of disadvantage, you roll fewer dice (fewer chance of success) or more (more chance of failure)? Or is disadvantage only telling you to keep the lowest dice?

I admit I'm confused by your simple mechanic.
Baseline 3d6
Advantage 4d6 keep highest 3
Disadvantage 4d6 keep lowest 3

5 advantages, 3 disadvantages 5d6 keep highest 3.

You would probably want to cap advantage or disadvantage at 6d6.


And OSR has consistently proved to be not my thing, since those games tend to be crunchy in all the wrong places and kinda hollow in places I actually like to be crunchy.I feel that. I ignore OSR games with to-hit tables or other BS.

DCCRPG can have that problem with sheer random table boat, but the Purple Crawler app can handle that.

The Black Hack 2e is just really simple. I would say the Fighters get to do cool things, but Casters tend to be weaker too. That's forgivable to me since the game is simple. If I'm learning tons of crunch, then I better be doing some crazy cool things (*cough not PF2e).

But those games tend to lean on sandbox play and not many characters making it to higher levels. You might retire a level 5 wizard because you only rolled 7 hp so far and feel like his skills would be better used running a tavern than getting stabbed.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-09, 07:37 AM
I like your ideas.

Also I would like get rid of Hit Points increase and get rid of Character Levels.

To everybody who clearly wants GURPS/The Dark Eye: just buy those games. You'll have fun with them even though they aren't called D&D.

Actually, if D&D failed then The Dark Eye could in theory take over here, they emulate very similar genres (although TDE is much lower powered).

Morty
2019-09-09, 07:46 AM
I feel like there's a lot of ground between "D&D stays exactly as it is" and "D&D becomes a GURPS clone". Whatever 'GURPS clone' is even supposed to mean; I get the impression GURPS is mostly thrown around as a generic bad thing, or at least one D&D shouldn't become. In practice, of course, D&D will stay exactly as it is even if there's a sixth edition in a few years' time. But there's nothing wrong with speculating about what could be.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-09, 07:49 AM
I feel like there's a lot of ground between "D&D stays exactly as it is" and "D&D becomes a GURPS clone". Whatever 'GURPS clone' is even supposed to mean; I get the impression GURPS is mostly thrown around as a generic bad thing, or at least one D&D shouldn't become. In practice, of course, D&D will stay exactly as it is even if there's a sixth edition in a few years' time. But there's nothing wrong with speculating about what could be.

There is a lot of ground, but
* changing to a skill/point-buy (rather than class/level) system
* removing the increasing HP
* changing away from a D20
(which were all proposed) isn't in that ground IMO.

There are changes you can make that are much less sweeping than those.

Pleh
2019-09-09, 08:18 AM
This topic makes me sad. What I see is a bunch of people, many of whom self-admittedly don't like D&D saying that D&D should stop being D&D and be more like <favored game>. Which is fine, but it's neither useful nor plausible. Even 4e, which got hammered for "not feeling like D&D" didn't do anything nearly that radical.

And there are plenty of other systems you can use if that's what you want. But some people (myself included) like the core of D&D and don't want it ruined by making it just another skill/point-buy system.

These are some good points. Wishing D&D had no classes, levels, or HP increases is like wishing McDonalds sold a wide selection of frozen pizza and a bucket of hammers.

Go to walmart if that's what you're looking for. A discussion about D&D improvements shouldn't end up telling it to stop being the iconic RPG that it's always been. There's plenty of room for other types of RPGs to be what they are adjacent to D&D.

For me, I'd like to see Feats come somewhere between 3.5 and 5e. 5e feats are so cool I wish they were less off to the side and more prominently featured. I get the desire to streamline character creation, but I think they may have cut it back just a little too far.

HeraldOfExius
2019-09-09, 08:34 AM
For me, I'd like to see Feats come somewhere between 3.5 and 5e. 5e feats are so cool I wish they were less off to the side and more prominently featured. I get the desire to streamline character creation, but I think they may have cut it back just a little too far.

This is probably what I would most want out of 6e. 5e feats are great, but the combination of bounded accuracy and feats having to compete with ASIs means that they are too often neglected in favor of "+1 to everything your class does" until you cap your main ability score.

jjordan
2019-09-09, 10:11 AM
* changing to a skill/point-buy (rather than class/level) system
Moving to a skill-based system doesn't have to mean getting away from levels. And, broadly speaking, it doesn't mean having to get away from classes, either. It also doesn't have to mean that you go to GURPs level of crunch, either.

You can preserve the classes and level advancement and still increase the role skills play in the game to allow greater customization of characters and slightly more immersive roleplay through more specific skill-sets.

AdAstra
2019-09-09, 10:41 AM
Could combine the points system with feats? So for example, when you gain a level you gain 1 or 2 points that you can spend as you level up to get feats? Or alternatively when you get an ASI, you get 3-4 feat points or some other arrangement. That way feats only have to be balanced for a given point value, rather than having to all be treated as the same. Possibly combine that with separate classifications for combat, utility, and roleplaying feats, and you could have a complex point-buy system overlaid atop a conventional class system. Just add a suggested "track" or two to each class to make character-building easier and you should be golden.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-09, 10:58 AM
Moving to a skill-based system doesn't have to mean getting away from levels. And, broadly speaking, it doesn't mean having to get away from classes, either. It also doesn't have to mean that you go to GURPs level of crunch, either.

You can preserve the classes and level advancement and still increase the role skills play in the game to allow greater customization of characters and slightly more immersive roleplay through more specific skill-sets.

Not very well. Mushing the two together results in the mess we had of 3e, with 50k different "skills", most of which aren't useful. And a whole different system for class features, etc. Or one side becomes vestigial (3e chose skills, others could choose classes).

Skill systems and class systems are different enough to be largely incompatible in my experience.

Not only that, but the poster I was particularly responding to did want to remove levels and classes. So :shrug:

Rhedyn
2019-09-09, 11:32 AM
Not only that, but the poster I was particularly responding to did want to remove levels and classes. So :shrug:Which lucky for that poster, The Dark Eye already exist.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-09, 11:37 AM
Translation--

"I want D&D 6e to be nothing like D&D and instead be a GURPS-clone." Class/level system, d20s, and increasing HP are some of the hallmarks of the mechanics of D&D.

This topic makes me sad. What I see is a bunch of people, many of whom self-admittedly don't like D&D saying that D&D should stop being D&D and be more like <favored game>. Which is fine, but it's neither useful nor plausible. Even 4e, which got hammered for "not feeling like D&D" didn't do anything nearly that radical.

And there are plenty of other systems you can use if that's what you want. But some people (myself included) like the core of D&D and don't want it ruined by making it just another skill/point-buy system.


Whenever these threads come up, I start thinking about what I'd change, and then I don't post most of it because, yeah, it wouldn't be D&D any more with all those changes. Levels, classes, d20, hyperscaling HP, etc... those are just core parts of the game that can't really go away without making it something else entirely -- for better or worse.

So without making D&D into not!D&D, here's what I will would change.

Presentation / writing -- whoever writes 6e needs to be capable of clarity, the writing shouldn't openly invite and encourage 30-some page threads about how three basic Warlock abilities interact with each other. And for pete's sake, hire a couple readers who weren't involved in the design process to read the thing and make sure it reads the way the developers THINK it reads -- actively look for unintended inferences and interactions.

Have more of the game written and ready to publish before they start publishing, so that the first round of supplements are integrated and taken into account in the balance and capabilities.

Examine the implicit setting, decide that's intentional and make it explicit... and trashcan the rest.

Stop conflating species and culture into "Race". It's at least 2025 by that point, I think they can find a more nuance on that front.

Put Backgrounds second, after whatever replaces "race" and before Classes.

On Classes, lean towards toolkit instead of archetype, and clearly do so. If the best mechanics to represent a character shouldn't be walled off behind a bunch of assumptions and tropes. Being a highly skilled character shouldn't be fixed into being the sneak-thief or the entertainer/scoundrel. Being the character with inherent non-spell magical powers shouldn't be fixed into having "sold your soul" (or whatever pact).

Give every class two possible "main stats" to choose from.

Re-examine what Charisma actually means, and break things up so that you don't have umpteen different Classes that default to it (Warlock, Paladin, Bard, etc).

For the love of all that is good and right, PLEASE ditch Vancian magic once and for all. (And no, I don't consider it core to D&D.) So much of what's hard about balance and magic in D&D could be solved by burying that fossil in the dirt where it belongs.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-09, 12:06 PM
Whenever these threads come up, I start thinking about what I'd change, and then I don't post most of it because, yeah, it wouldn't be D&D any more with all those changes. Levels, classes, d20, hyperscaling HP, etc... those are just core parts of the game that can't really go away without making it something else entirely -- for better or worse.

So without making D&D into not!D&D, here's what I will would change.

Presentation / writing -- whoever writes 6e needs to be capable of clarity, the writing shouldn't openly invite and encourage 30-some page threads about how three basic Warlock abilities interact with each other. And for pete's sake, hire a couple readers who weren't involved in the design process to read the thing and make sure it reads the way the developers THINK it reads -- actively look for unintended inferences and interactions.


I disagree, partially. Of course clarity is important. But most of those 30-page threads are motivated reasoning, not actual confusion. Whenever I see one of those, it's dollars-to-donuts that it's a couple people with very firm, very fixed notions of what it should say and all evidence to the contrary will be disregarded.

Mostly, it comes down to people with a firm belief that DM discretion must be avoided at all costs, which is the opposite of 5e's design.

And compared to either 4e or 3e (or especially 2e), 5e is already a pinnacle of writing clarity. 2e was just all over the place and poorly written, 3e tried to be legalistic...and failed miserably (producing extra ambiguity and outright disfunction by trying to avoid ambiguity). 4e was just a slog to actually read, plus all the keywords meant you were constantly flipping back and forth to cross-reference. 5e's been used as an example of good technical writing in several college courses that I'm aware of.



Have more of the game written and ready to publish before they start publishing, so that the first round of supplements are integrated and taken into account in the balance and capabilities.


I basically agree--the first adventure series (Tyranny of Dragons) was notorious for only partially working with the published rules because it was written based on playtest materials by a 3pp hired for the job.



Examine the implicit setting, decide that's intentional and make it explicit... and trashcan the rest.


No. I oppose anything that locks the game into one specific setting any more than absolutely necessary, but you need fluff. 4e's lack of fluff (or completely optional fluff, which is the same thing) was too little, games like Shadowrun (which are critically dependent on particular detailed settings) is way too much.



Stop conflating species and culture into "Race". It's at least 2025 by that point, I think they can find a more nuance on that front.


Meh. It's traditional and everyone except people looking for fights knows what's meant.



Put Backgrounds second, after whatever replaces "race" and before Classes.


Sure.



On Classes, lean towards toolkit instead of archetype, and clearly do so. If the best mechanics to represent a character shouldn't be walled off behind a bunch of assumptions and tropes. Being a highly skilled character shouldn't be fixed into being the sneak-thief or the entertainer/scoundrel. Being the character with inherent non-spell magical powers shouldn't be fixed into having "sold your soul" (or whatever pact).


I disagree. Tropes and archetypes make all the difference, especially for new players. 5e works best when you lean into them and ignore the "toolkit" idea. That is, 5e works beautifully when you start with the base archetypes and build from there organically--trying to retrofit a pre-determined, externally constructed "concept" into the mechanics is what causes problems IMX. I find the first way also produces more natural characters--the second always feels like the personality and backstory is shoehorned in. But that's my experience, YMMV.



Give every class two possible "main stats" to choose from.


Eh...don't care one way or another. Some are harder to do this with than others, others are very easy.



Re-examine what Charisma actually means, and break things up so that you don't have umpteen different Classes that default to it (Warlock, Paladin, Bard, etc).


Sacred cow here a bit. I sort of agree--they could certainly be more clear about the mental ability scores. No, INT is not synonymous with IQ. WIS is not "good decisionmaking and sage advice", it's "ability and training to distinguish self from other" (perception, writ large). CHA is largely "sense of self", but is the fuzziest of them.



For the love of all that is good and right, PLEASE ditch Vancian magic once and for all. (And no, I don't consider it core to D&D.) So much of what's hard about balance and magic in D&D could be solved by burying that fossil in the dirt where it belongs.

I disagree -- it is core. The slot/level progression of magic is about as core as the 6 ability scores, for example. I find much of the balance problems coming from people thinking that "magic = can do anything" and letting players get "creative" with spells (ie letting them twist the well-defined effects into much much more using fallacious logic and bad physics), but not giving the same leeway to non-magic things. That, or designing adventures around single big boss fights against a solo monster.

Morty
2019-09-09, 12:40 PM
I would drop levels far sooner than dropping classes. People talk a lot about classes being restrictive, but levels are probably more to blame. Or rather, the combination of classes and levels, that ends up in the "this class get this at level X, period" effect. Dropping levels would make the mechanics a lot less suffocating while keeping the classes' benefit of helping define characters and providing strong themes.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-09, 12:51 PM
I would drop levels far sooner than dropping classes. People talk a lot about classes being restrictive, but levels are probably more to blame. Or rather, the combination of classes and levels, that ends up in the "this class get this at level X, period" effect. Dropping levels would make the mechanics a lot less suffocating while keeping the classes' benefit of helping define characters and providing strong themes.

You might have a point. Looking at the Classes and seeing "well I'd need to take at least X levels in this Class just to get this one thing that's central to the character I'm trying to build... while having to take all this irreverent stuff along the way..." might be the most aggravating part about Classes in D&D.

Rhedyn
2019-09-09, 02:01 PM
Presentation / writing -- whoever writes 6e needs to be capable of clarity, the writing shouldn't openly invite and encourage 30-some page threads about how three basic Warlock abilities interact with each other. And for pete's sake, hire a couple readers who weren't involved in the design process to read the thing and make sure it reads the way the developers THINK it reads -- actively look for unintended inferences and interactions. Actually this is one of 5e's strengths.

You are suppose to run it how you think D&D should work. It doesn't matter what the devs thought, the language is intentionally ambiguous.

Thematic Strength is what D&D 5e has over other editions of D&D. I personally do not value it, but given it's popularity, that must be a feature many people do want.

A way to ruin D&D 5e for yourself is to care what the developers think the rules say. (I would know, I did ruin the system for myself that way)

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-09, 02:38 PM
Actually this is one of 5e's strengths.

You are suppose to run it how you think D&D should work. It doesn't matter what the devs thought, the language is intentionally ambiguous.

Thematic Strength is what D&D 5e has over other editions of D&D. I personally do not value it, but given it's popularity, that must be a feature many people do want.

A way to ruin D&D 5e for yourself is to care what the developers think the rules say. (I would know, I did ruin the system for myself that way)


"Intentionally ambiguous" sounds like a CYA for "sloppy", if you ask me.

"It works the way you think it should work" sounds great until you run into a table of people with N+1 opinions on how something actually works, and none of them can agree, and everything requires discussion before it can proceed, and every little thing about the character build requires a detailed "are we reading this the same way?" discussion between player and DM...

PhoenixPhyre
2019-09-09, 02:47 PM
"Intentionally ambiguous" sounds like a CYA for "sloppy", if you ask me.

"It works the way you think it should work" sounds great until you run into a table of people with N+1 opinions on how something actually works, and none of them can agree, and everything requires discussion before it can proceed, and every little thing about the character build requires a detailed "are we reading this the same way?" discussion between player and DM...

That's personal preference there. I like intentional ambiguity, because it lets me run different tables differently without having problems with the rules at all.

And if your table devolves into such things...that's an OOC problem due to rules lawyering and I guarantee it would work the same no matter how codified the rules were, because the rules can't cover everything (combinatorial explosion and all that). In fact, I've seen way more arguing about rules in regards to much more "tightly defined" systems, because the tighter the definitions, the more loopholes and interacting terms result. 5e, run properly, has none of that. Because the answer is "DM trusts players, players trust DM, they work it out". And that's the only possible answer, because rules aren't binding. Paper cannot bind people. If you can't trust the other players, you shouldn't play the game.

Rhedyn
2019-09-09, 03:02 PM
"Intentionally ambiguous" sounds like a CYA for "sloppy", if you ask me.

"It works the way you think it should work" sounds great until you run into a table of people with N+1 opinions on how something actually works, and none of them can agree, and everything requires discussion before it can proceed, and every little thing about the character build requires a detailed "are we reading this the same way?" discussion between player and DM...You have the right of it. D&D 5e hinges heavily on "The DM is right".

The mass appeal strength of the system runs into conflict with those who want to invest deeply in a system and understand it. 5e is not a system that can be understood without a DM there. 5e has just enough rules that former 3.5/4e D&D players can hop in and run the game like they think it should work, but once such players need to KNOW how it works, the illusion breaks.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-09, 03:07 PM
That's personal preference there. I like intentional ambiguity, because it lets me run different tables differently without having problems with the rules at all.

And if your table devolves into such things...that's an OOC problem due to rules lawyering and I guarantee it would work the same no matter how codified the rules were, because the rules can't cover everything (combinatorial explosion and all that). In fact, I've seen way more arguing about rules in regards to much more "tightly defined" systems, because the tighter the definitions, the more loopholes and interacting terms result. 5e, run properly, has none of that. Because the answer is "DM trusts players, players trust DM, they work it out". And that's the only possible answer, because rules aren't binding. Paper cannot bind people. If you can't trust the other players, you shouldn't play the game.

And yet I've never had those sorts of issues with HERO or WEG d6, and rarely even with messy systems like oWoD's various incarnations.

It's not a matter of rules lawyering -- it's a matter of the rules being so poorly written that they leave themselves open to multiple reasonable interpretations, of the rules not being based on anything but themselves (so there's no "compare against something" test), and of the system having an endless deluge of mini-rules such as each spell being its own little box of rules, each Class ability being its own little box of rules, etc, and trying to have them all interact without turning into a chaos storm -- and it often being transparently clear that the authors put ZERO thought into how they interact.

Thus, the 30-some page thread of how Pact of the Blade, Improved Pact of the Blade (or whatever it's called, AFB), and Hexblade interconnect, which could have been avoided for all but the maliciously motivated with just a few changes in wording.

"Perfect clarity is impossible, so don't even try to be clear" is just letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

"The DM and players will figure it out, so there's no problem in the first place" is just a close cousin to the Rule 0 Fallacy.




You have the right of it. D&D 5e hinges heavily on "The DM is right".

The mass appeal strength of the system runs into conflict with those who want to invest deeply in a system and understand it. 5e is not a system that can be understood without a DM there. 5e has just enough rules that former 3.5/4e D&D players can hop in and run the game like they think it should work, but once such players need to KNOW how it works, the illusion breaks.


Game rules should work without constant need for personal subjective interpretation. I should be able to pick up the rulebook for a system, and understand how it works, without requiring the developer or a GM to be in the room with me clarifying every third thing.

Morgana
2019-09-09, 03:27 PM
I want content to be released more frequently honestly, aside from UA stuff which doesn't really count, only sword coast and Xenathar's really changed the game to any substantive level I feel, and it even then it wasn't a whole lot

Morty
2019-09-09, 03:32 PM
You might have a point. Looking at the Classes and seeing "well I'd need to take at least X levels in this Class just to get this one thing that's central to the character I'm trying to build... while having to take all this irreverent stuff along the way..." might be the most aggravating part about Classes in D&D.

There's more than a few systems (various Warhammer systems, Storyteller systems, PbtA systems, just to name those I've played) that use some kind of boxes and categories, even if they don't call them classes. But they don't have levels and don't make everything about the character depend on that box. So they avoid the issues D&D classes have.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-09, 03:57 PM
You have the right of it. D&D 5e hinges heavily on "The DM is right".

A system that relies heavily on GM rulings is fine, but D&D 5e is weird. It clearly defines combat (barring edge cases), goes into minute detail about magic, and then just throws up It's hands and goes 'figure it out after rolling 1d20+ability+proficiency+modifiers', and then insists it's all equally important. This kind of rules split isn't unique to D&D, but D&D is relatively unique in claiming it's all equally important.


The mass appeal strength of the system runs into conflict with those who want to invest deeply in a system and understand it. 5e is not a system that can be understood without a DM there. 5e has just enough rules that former 3.5/4e D&D players can hop in and run the game like they think it should work, but once such players need to KNOW how it works, the illusion breaks.

And that illusion is what makes some of us really against 5e.

I played mostly with scientists and engineers when at uni, and there was a significant tendency to want to know how the rules worked and how they fit together. We didn't play 4e because it was clear how it fit together and we didn't like that, but enjoyed Unknown Armies and GURPS because of how the rules all slotted together without the GM having to bodge everything. We didn't play 5e because it wasn't released until the last couple of years we played together, but there was definite dislike compared to GURPS and 3e. And when I played 5e I grew to hate it, it was such a limited game that relied in the GM to do anything.

On the other hand I like Adventures in Middle Earth because the book actually adds more depth to noncombat gameplay with Journey and Audience mechanics.


There's more than a few systems (various Warhammer systems, Storyteller systems, PbtA systems, just to name those I've played) that use some kind of boxes and categories, even if they don't call them classes. But they don't have levels and don't make everything about the character depend on that box. So they avoid the issues D&D classes have.

Yep, a lot of games use looser classes to funnel characters towards archetypes without closely controlling everything. A lot also use races to determine basic abilities while players get free reign over skills and more advanced powers, which I quite like. There's a whole spectrum going from the WoD games ('class' mainly affects costs and weaknesses), to WoD as a whole ('class' determines what abilities you have access to, but everybody has equal access to skills), to Anima/Rolemaster (you can theoretically learn anything, but your class will make it efficient to focus on one or two specific areas), to the Warhammer games (you can only buy what your class let's you without GM say so, but each class has a range of available stuff and you don't have to buy everything), to D&D (a Fighter gets exactly this at exactly this level).

Morty
2019-09-09, 04:08 PM
Yep, a lot of games use looser classes to funnel characters towards archetypes without closely controlling everything. A lot also use races to determine basic abilities while players get free reign over skills and more advanced powers, which I quite like. There's a whole spectrum going from the WoD games ('class' mainly affects costs and weaknesses), to WoD as a whole ('class' determines what abilities you have access to, but everybody has equal access to skills), to Anima/Rolemaster (you can theoretically learn anything, but your class will make it efficient to focus on one or two specific areas), to the Warhammer games (you can only buy what your class let's you without GM say so, but each class has a range of available stuff and you don't have to buy everything), to D&D (a Fighter gets exactly this at exactly this level).

This is correct about the older Warhammer games, but the newer ones (well, relatively newer, they're pretty old by now) like Dark Heresy 2E operate on an "aptitude" system where your basic choices - background, homeworld and role - determine how easy or hard it is to purchase certain attributes, skills or talents, though each choice also has unique abilities. I'm not sure how Warhammer Fantasy 4E does it, but I think it cleaves closer to the old model.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-09, 04:15 PM
This is correct about the older Warhammer games, but the newer ones (well, relatively newer, they're pretty old by now) like Dark Heresy 2E operate on an "aptitude" system where your basic choices - background, homeworld and role - determine how easy or hard it is to purchase certain attributes, skills or talents, though each choice also has unique abilities. I'm not sure how Warhammer Fantasy 4E does it, but I think it cleaves closer to the old model.

WFRP4e is essentially what 2e did, but more streamlined. So instead of a bunch of Careers which promote you to more advanced Careers you have four ranks in your Career, but can leave and start at rank 1 in another Career.

Rhedyn
2019-09-09, 04:39 PM
A system that relies heavily on GM rulings is fine, but D&D 5e is weird. It clearly defines combat (barring edge cases), goes into minute detail about magic, and then just throws up It's hands and goes 'figure it out after rolling 1d20+ability+proficiency+modifiers', and then insists it's all equally important. This kind of rules split isn't unique to D&D, but D&D is relatively unique in claiming it's all equally important.



And that illusion is what makes some of us really against 5e.

I played mostly with scientists and engineers when at uni, and there was a significant tendency to want to know how the rules worked and how they fit together. We didn't play 4e because it was clear how it fit together and we didn't like that, but enjoyed Unknown Armies and GURPS because of how the rules all slotted together without the GM having to bodge everything. We didn't play 5e because it wasn't released until the last couple of years we played together, but there was definite dislike compared to GURPS and 3e. And when I played 5e I grew to hate it, it was such a limited game that relied in the GM to do anything.

On the other hand I like Adventures in Middle Earth because the book actually adds more depth to noncombat gameplay with Journey and Audience mechanics.



Yep, a lot of games use looser classes to funnel characters towards archetypes without closely controlling everything. A lot also use races to determine basic abilities while players get free reign over skills and more advanced powers, which I quite like. There's a whole spectrum going from the WoD games ('class' mainly affects costs and weaknesses), to WoD as a whole ('class' determines what abilities you have access to, but everybody has equal access to skills), to Anima/Rolemaster (you can theoretically learn anything, but your class will make it efficient to focus on one or two specific areas), to the Warhammer games (you can only buy what your class let's you without GM say so, but each class has a range of available stuff and you don't have to buy everything), to D&D (a Fighter gets exactly this at exactly this level).
I wonder if you would like The Black Hack 2e. It's rules light, but the rules are clear and everything is given equal consideration.

You 3d6 down on the standard 6 stats, if you roll 14+, the next stat is 7.

You pick a class (Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Wizard, barring 3rd party), and you write a one sentence background. Most class abilities are received at level one, with HP, stats, and some features improving with level.

The skill system is basically you can do whatever makes sense that your character can do, roll under your attribute if their is a chance of failure. Apply advantage/disadvantage as appropriate for the situation.

When a creature attacks you in melee, you roll under strength to avoid the attack, if you are attacked at range, you roll under dexterity. When you are dodging or attacking, you add the difference between level and monster HD if it is higher. Your armor can block x number of successful hits (determined after damage is rolled) before needing repairs.

Wizard spells take up one page and cleric prayers take up one page. Most of the book is dedicated to GM creative tables with a bestiary near the back and all the monsters only have HD, attacks, special abilities, treasure, and random interaction tables.

I too am disappointed by D&D 5e, I can appreciate that it is good at something I don't like and see how that has caused it to be popular. I much prefer games that are a particular thing (even if that is a particular kind of generic) rather than trying to be all things to all people through misinterpretation.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-09, 04:45 PM
trying to be all things to all people through misinterpretation.


At the end of the day, that's not a bad way of expressing my opinion of the thing (which is based in part on the things said trying to promote the system).

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-09, 04:56 PM
I wonder if you would like The Black Hack 2e. It's rules light, but the rules are clear and everything is given equal consideration.

Got it, it's interesting but I'll stick with more high tech settings for now. I really need to get on with building my GURPS Space setting for when I finally very a group willing to play it (or In Nomine,Thai would be fun).

Quertus
2019-09-09, 05:17 PM
You might have a point. Looking at the Classes and seeing "well I'd need to take at least X levels in this Class just to get this one thing that's central to the character I'm trying to build... while having to take all this irreverent stuff along the way..." might be the most aggravating part about Classes in D&D.

"the most aggravating part about Classes in D&D"? About classes in 3e, maybe. What about 2e's Skills and Powers, that gave you (limited) ability to customize your character, and dip other powers? What if an even stronger version of the same type of "dipping" system existed in 6e, where classes had the option to be played straight, as classes, or to make point-buy style tradeoffs? Would that meet your requirements?

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 12:24 AM
On Classes, lean towards toolkit instead of archetype, and clearly do so. If the best mechanics to represent a character shouldn't be walled off behind a bunch of assumptions and tropes. Being a highly skilled character shouldn't be fixed into being the sneak-thief or the entertainer/scoundrel. Being the character with inherent non-spell magical powers shouldn't be fixed into having "sold your soul" (or whatever pact).

This. Divorce class fluff from mechanics, or at least put them in different rooms.

Edit: Come to think of it, I might be able to pinpoint why 5e doesn't do it for me while 3.5 did. D&D is supposedly a rather generic, entry-level heroic fantasy game, but it doesn't do generic heroic fantasy well enough. It's not generic enough because you have classes-as-archetypes, an almost fixed power/narrative level and inability to properly realize many fantasy concepts with enough precision in regards to abilities and power.

Morty
2019-09-10, 03:08 AM
WFRP4e is essentially what 2e did, but more streamlined. So instead of a bunch of Careers which promote you to more advanced Careers you have four ranks in your Career, but can leave and start at rank 1 in another Career.

So I've heard, yes. It does sound like a streamlined version of the frequently byzantine old career system. I think I still prefer the Dark Heresy 2E approach, though it also has a number of flaws - it's fairly easy to end up paying a lot of XP for things your character should be good at.

Pleh
2019-09-10, 04:17 AM
Edit: Come to think of it, I might be able to pinpoint why 5e doesn't do it for me while 3.5 did. D&D is supposedly a rather generic, entry-level heroic fantasy game, but it doesn't do generic heroic fantasy well enough. It's not generic enough because you have classes-as-archetypes, an almost fixed power/narrative level and inability to properly realize many fantasy concepts with enough precision in regards to abilities and power.

I think this rather demonstrates the anti 5e bias problem.

5e has fewer options, but generally even the poorer choices are still functional (they work, they just underperform).

Can't say the same for 3.5. Playing the original Ranger in 5e isn't as bad as trying to play a the original monk or paladin in 3.5.

We seem to romanticize the variety of 3.5's choices to the extent that we forget half of them were postively dysfunctional without a tremendous amount of system mastery. 5e is better because you basically don't even have that concern (and several functional classes struggled to keep pace with full spellcasters).

With such a poor balance of options, can we fairly say there were more choices, even if most of these extra choices were trap options?

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 06:37 AM
I think this rather demonstrates the anti 5e bias problem.

5e has fewer options, but generally even the poorer choices are still functional (they work, they just underperform).

Can't say the same for 3.5. Playing the original Ranger in 5e isn't as bad as trying to play a the original monk or paladin in 3.5.

We seem to romanticize the variety of 3.5's choices to the extent that we forget half of them were postively dysfunctional without a tremendous amount of system mastery. 5e is better because you basically don't even have that concern (and several functional classes struggled to keep pace with full spellcasters).

With such a poor balance of options, can we fairly say there were more choices, even if most of these extra choices were trap options?

For me personally? Yes. In 3.PF, I could play Magus, Slayer, any of the ToB classes, any of the PoW classes, Sorcerer, Warmage, Beguiler, maybe even Warlock or Scout. That's more than 10 classes already. Most of these could be built in 2-3 different ways, too.

In 5e, out of the box I like...Monk (Shadow or Kensei), Paladin (Vengeance or Ancients), maybe straight archer Hunter Revised Ranger (but not further than level 8). Fighters are lame, Rogues as well, Wizards, Clerics and Druids can go soak, Bards aren't my style, and Sorcerer needs some love to be actually fun instead of "sometimes fun".

Edit: I forgot Warlocks. But it's not surprising, considered how butchered they are.

Pleh
2019-09-10, 06:51 AM
For me personally? Yes. In 3.PF, I could play Magus, Slayer, any of the ToB classes, any of the PoW classes, Sorcerer, Warmage, Beguiler, maybe even Warlock or Scout. That's more than 10 classes already. Most of these could be built in 2-3 different ways, too.

In 5e, out of the box I like...Monk (Shadow or Kensei), Paladin (Vengeance or Ancients), maybe straight archer Hunter Revised Ranger (but not further than level 8). Fighters are lame, Rogues as well, Wizards, Clerics and Druids can go soak, Bards aren't my style, and Sorcerer needs some love to be actually fun instead of "sometimes fun".

Edit: I forgot Warlocks. But it's not surprising, considered how butchered they are.

So your problem isn't lack of options. You just don't like the choices. So less a problem of design and more a matter of preference

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 07:27 AM
So your problem isn't lack of options. You just don't like the choices. So less a problem of design and more a matter of preference

The way I see it, it is the lack of options in a way, if I don't like the choices which supposedly cover the entire design space of the game. Sure, if we go by total percentage, then 5e has a higher percent of "this class is interesting to me and also playable" than 3.5, merely by the dint of there being 12 classes out of which I like two and almost like two more, so a solid 33%. 3.PF has hundreds of classes and I listed about 15, that's less than 10%.

But in terms of absolute amount of classes I like and can play? Not by a long shot. In 5e, I've played Sorc 1-13, Warlock and Fighter 4-9, Ranger 1-8, Monk 8-11 (the most enjoyable experience by far, tbh), and Paladin 7 in a one-shot. And most of these weren't even that much fun because the Fighter, Warlock, Ranger and Paladin were just "hey so I do tons of damage, that's fun right". If I ever want to play a fun martial who can do interesting things in 5e, I would have to go Monk again, maybe with a different subclass.

Meanwhile, 3.PF has bad classes, lots of them. I don't care. There are good classes, too, lots of them. Martial adepts already let me build almost anything I want to play, and some spellcasting classes can cover the rest without breaking the game. Those options in 5e? Gone. No trace of them.

The design space for 3.PF is incredibly larger and fits many more concepts. Most people would be able to find something that they like. Subsystems galore, unusual class mechanics all day. For a low-to-mid-op game, where people aren't out to break things, but know what they want and are ready to find things that let them do those things, the 3.PF model is superior. 5e is better for absolutely new people who are content with the archetypes presented in the PHB or people who would try and break the game, because it doesn't let them do it as easily.

Rhedyn
2019-09-10, 07:42 AM
I like playing 3.X or Pathfinder, but man those systems are a joke. Imagine if an indie developer launched that or Monte Cook Kickstarted Numenera with 3.5 complexity? It be a laughing stock of bad design and expecting way more crunch digestion than what you get out of it.

For example, GURPS 4e is a way easier system even if you play with all of the rules. If it seems harder to you that's because you didn't join a table of people willing to teach it to you.

What also bugs me about 3.X is that what people like about it (customization) is better done in basically any classless system. Sure it gets to be the most flexible D&D, but it's two editions buried by now and even Paizo gave up on it. Surely if 3.5 is on the table of consideration, you could look at other not-D&D games like GURPS, HERO, Mutants and Masterminds, The Dark Eye, Ars Magica, EABA, and even something mid-crunch like Savage Worlds?

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 08:03 AM
I like playing 3.X or Pathfinder, but man those systems are a joke. Imagine if an indie developer launched that or Monte Cook Kickstarted Numenera with 3.5 complexity? It be a laughing stock of bad design and expecting way more crunch digestion than what you get out of it.

For example, GURPS 4e is a way easier system even if you play with all of the rules. If it seems harder to you that's because you didn't join a table of people willing to teach it to you.

What also bugs me about 3.X is that what people like about it (customization) is better done in basically any classless system. Sure it gets to be the most flexible D&D, but it's two editions buried by now and even Paizo gave up on it. Surely if 3.5 is on the table of consideration, you could look at other not-D&D games like GURPS, HERO, Mutants and Masterminds, The Dark Eye, Ars Magica, EABA, and even something mid-crunch like Savage Worlds?

In many ways, 3.PF is still the high point of D&D design-wise. Does it have some weird clunk like grappling rules and so on? Sure. Does it have unplayable classes? Also true. However, most underlying systems are more solid than its' successors.

Skill ranks and skill usage and skill points? It's a good idea and a good implementation of said idea for levels 1-6. Extend the skill uses to what level 20 actually entails, and it's almost golden. Meanwhile 4e has the weird skill challenges and 5e is "does your DM think this is easy or hard".

Feats? Good idea, subpar implementation, 5e feats are better by actual feat design but simultaneously worse by their place in the system because you don't get them by default and they are presented as an alternative to the almighty "get better at your main thing" instead of being something that you ALSO get.

Classes? 5e is basically 3.5 PHB with the warlock stapled on, and by that I mean "all classes are either impossibly boring mechanically, spellcasters, or Monk", which is not a far step from 3.5's "all classes are either impossibly boring mechanically or spellcasters". Only 3.5 remedied that through supplements introducing new subsystems and classes based on those subsystems, and 5e did nothing.

Etc, etc. If you streamline 3.5/PF 1e in some places, it's very good. Complexity isn't bad as long as it actually contributes something meaningful to gameplay, and when streamlining removes many options to simplify things, it's not as good as many people think.

Morty
2019-09-10, 08:12 AM
3.5's variety is a matter of volume more than anything else. Yes, you can create a lot... if you have a big pile of material and the time and energy to go sifting through it. If you want to create certain concepts with just the core rules... good luck. 5E might be less varied overall, but it has a greater variety that's available easily. You can create an archer or dual-wielder without really wishing you hadn't, for instance.

I'm far from praising 5E, but it does play to its strengths better. 3.5/PF try to be customizable - or at least their players treat them this way - despite having a baseline system that curtails variety at every step. 5E tries to deliver a familiar, consistent and accessible D&D experience, which classes and levels actually do help with.

Pleh
2019-09-10, 09:09 AM
3.5's variety is a matter of volume more than anything else. Yes, you can create a lot... if you have a big pile of material and the time and energy to go sifting through it. If you want to create certain concepts with just the core rules... good luck. 5E might be less varied overall, but it has a greater variety that's available easily. You can create an archer or dual-wielder without really wishing you hadn't, for instance.

I'm far from praising 5E, but it does play to its strengths better. 3.5/PF try to be customizable - or at least their players treat them this way - despite having a baseline system that curtails variety at every step. 5E tries to deliver a familiar, consistent and accessible D&D experience, which classes and levels actually do help with.

Very much this. 3.5 is not helped by the enormous glut that makes running it a chore.

HeraldOfExius
2019-09-10, 09:23 AM
As much as I enjoy 3.PF, I will agree that it's a mess from a design perspective. That being said, 3e's design failures include things such as giving you almost no reason to stick with most classes for more than a few levels. This created the trend of dipping for highly front-loaded class features, which makes it closer to a classless system than most games that use classes. This does, however, involve ignoring things like the XP penalty for multiclassing, and it's easy to mess up your bills unless you have sufficient system mastery.

If there was a system that was deliberately designed around multiclassing from the start instead of ending up that way by accident, I think it could be considered more "skill based" while still having classes. You would still take levels in classes, but you aren't completely defined by what you want to be able to at level 1.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-10, 10:02 AM
A system that relies heavily on GM rulings is fine, but D&D 5e is weird. It clearly defines combat (barring edge cases), goes into minute detail about magic, and then just throws up It's hands and...<etc.>

5e often does do what I will call 'Stopping in a weird place along the continuum.' Illumination is a decent example. Mind you, 5e D&D is hardly the first system to mess up illumination, and it is unsurprising given the actual page space dedicated to it. However, there was no specific reason to stop at that level -- people probably would have been fine with either an extra couple pages dedicated to such an important subject -- or people would have been fine with a more vague 'illumination works exactly as you think it does' level. Why they chose to stop exactly where they did is something of a mystery to me.


What also bugs me about 3.X is that what people like about it (customization) is better done in basically any classless system. Sure it gets to be the most flexible D&D, but it's two editions buried by now and even Paizo gave up on it. Surely if 3.5 is on the table of consideration, you could look at other not-D&D games like GURPS, HERO, Mutants and Masterminds, The Dark Eye, Ars Magica, EABA, and even something mid-crunch like Savage Worlds?

This being another good example of a strange spot to stop. Mind you, I get the appeal of the character creation/customization qualities of 3e. However, where they landed seems to have opened up all the potential problems with such a model (long creation times, DM/GM prep time, challenges in balance, etc.), yet doesn't do what something like GURPS or HERO do towards allowing you to really make whatever you want (especially if some baseline level of effectiveness is expected).


In many ways, 3.PF is still the high point of D&D design-wise. Does it have some weird clunk like grappling rules and so on? Sure. Does it have unplayable classes? Also true. However, most underlying systems are more solid than its' successors.
...
Etc, etc. If you streamline 3.5/PF 1e in some places, it's very good. Complexity isn't bad as long as it actually contributes something meaningful to gameplay, and when streamlining removes many options to simplify things, it's not as good as many people think.

I will agree that there is a theoretical version of the basic D20 model that has some very strong appeal. I get why people want developers to take another crack. However, there are also some inherent hurdles that it has that other games (and other D&Ds, since you framed the comparison as being with 3e's successors) do not have or deal with better. Honestly, there's an improved (towards my personal preferences) version of each version of D&D (and most other games) which I'd love to play, but I don't see 3e standing out in that pack specifically.

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 10:21 AM
I will agree that there is a theoretical version of the basic D20 model that has some very strong appeal. I get why people want developers to take another crack. However, there are also some inherent hurdles that it has that other games (and other D&Ds, since you framed the comparison as being with 3e's successors) do not have or deal with better. Honestly, there's an improved (towards my personal preferences) version of each version of D&D (and most other games) which I'd love to play, but I don't see 3e standing out in that pack specifically.

I'd say that 3.PF came closest to what a generic heroic fantasy game should do. It's not perfect by any margin, but, IMO, it's better than both what came before and what came after.

Of course, if I were to design a generic heroic fantasy game, I wouldn't even use d20 or classes. Levels are a strong "maybe". But D&D is ever the strongest word on the market, and so me saying "I wish D&D 6 was X", which X is incidentally closer to 3e than 5e might be in a way equated with "I wish the mainstream was closer to X instead of 5e".

Rhedyn
2019-09-10, 10:27 AM
Etc, etc. If you streamline 3.5/PF 1e in some places, it's very good. Complexity isn't bad as long as it actually contributes something meaningful to gameplay, and when streamlining removes many options to simplify things, it's not as good as many people think.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/63884/Fantasy-Craft-Second-Printing

https://openlegendrpg.com/core-rules/00-introduction

If you need something like dozens of books to buy, then give Savage Worlds a try, though its splatbooks don't stack.

What I am curious about is why WotC and D&D need to fill this niche of game design?

Ignimortis
2019-09-10, 10:31 AM
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/63884/Fantasy-Craft-Second-Printing

https://openlegendrpg.com/core-rules/00-introduction

If you need something like dozens of books to buy, then give Savage Worlds a try, though its splatbooks don't stack.

What I am curious about is why WotC and D&D need to fill this niche of game design?

I think I tried Savage Worlds back in 2012, when I didn't really know much about either tabletop design or game design in general. IIRC, it lacks a zero-to-hero-to-superhero dynamic, and that's one of the most important things about D&D to me.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-10, 10:50 AM
I'd say that 3.PF came closest to what a generic heroic fantasy game should do. It's not perfect by any margin, but, IMO, it's better than both what came before and what came after.

Of course, if I were to design a generic heroic fantasy game, I wouldn't even use d20 or classes. Levels are a strong "maybe". But D&D is ever the strongest word on the market, and so me saying "I wish D&D 6 was X", which X is incidentally closer to 3e than 5e might be in a way equated with "I wish the mainstream was closer to X instead of 5e".

That is a great way of saying it and I wish more people would frame things that way. I disagree (personally I would prefer another stab at cutting the cruft out of a TSR-era D&D than any of 3, 4, and 5), but my own perspective is the same model, just with that where you state 3e.

Rhedyn
2019-09-10, 11:07 AM
I think I tried Savage Worlds back in 2012, when I didn't really know much about either tabletop design or game design in general. IIRC, it lacks a zero-to-hero-to-superhero dynamic, and that's one of the most important things about D&D to me.
There is a new backwards compatibly edition out, but yeah Savage Worlds starts at "action-heroes" and ends at "experienced action-heroes". There just are not many games out there with dozens of books of support.

I personally was rather bored at low level 3.X, so it was no loss for me.


That is a great way of saying it and I wish more people would frame things that way. I disagree (personally I would prefer another stab at cutting the cruft out of a TSR-era D&D than any of 3, 4, and 5), but my own perspective is the same model, just with that where you state 3e.
Idk, rolld20's "uncategorized" games was up to 14%-ish last survey I saw. There is a good chance that OSR is getting more popular.

It would be really funny if Kevin Crawford's "Worlds Without Number" next year ended up being as relatively-for-the-genre popular as his Stars Without Number sci-fi rpg. Then you would basically get your wish.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-10, 02:27 PM
So I've heard, yes. It does sound like a streamlined version of the frequently byzantine old career system. I think I still prefer the Dark Heresy 2E approach, though it also has a number of flaws - it's fairly easy to end up paying a lot of XP for things your character should be good at.

And if we have to restrictions at all I prefer the WFRP4E way. But that's fine, no game has to cater to every taste.

That's why I like GURPS, because at the end of the day the most fair way to build characters is to give everybody equal access and charge everybody the same amount. Does this mean that it takes a lot of work to create a balanced group of characters? Yes, but I've found that at the table strict balance is less important than everybody having their thing which comes up regularly. It doesn't matter if the Alchemist has an 18 in Chemistry and you only have a 12 in History, they can both be your character's thing if you're the best in the group and it's important every other session.

Which is where 3.X failed. If you were a Fighter your thing was combat, unless there was a Cleric or Druid in the party (then it was the animal companion's thing), a Rogue's was locating traps unless somebody was preparing the low level trap finding spells. 5e isn't as balanced* as it seems, but that doesn't matter because it's very rare that somebody does your thing better.

* It's balanced compared to 3.X, but not 4e.

Knaight
2019-09-11, 12:10 AM
I could get behind the idea in the OP - it worked beautifully for Spectaculars, which is a class based RPG which escalates in power, where you substitute in high power classes for low power classes - it's just a superhero game, where you go from street level to cosmic. A similar thing could work in D&D, and could also really help some of the conceptual issues around, say, high level fighters.

For other things I'd rather D&D emphasize what it does best, instead of doing what other RPGs do but poorly. Jettison multiclassing, stop including text about covering all of fantasy, and instead present the specific iconic archetypes, the specific iconic setting elements for the implicit setting of D&D*, and general dungeon crawl support.

*Yes, there's nominally different settings. When these nominally different settings keep using the same planar system, the same set of creatures, and the same technological trappings I'm sticking with the singular term.

Psyren
2019-09-11, 12:11 AM
Translation--

"I want D&D 6e to be nothing like D&D and instead be a GURPS-clone." Class/level system, d20s, and increasing HP are some of the hallmarks of the mechanics of D&D.

This topic makes me sad. What I see is a bunch of people, many of whom self-admittedly don't like D&D saying that D&D should stop being D&D and be more like <favored game>. Which is fine, but it's neither useful nor plausible. Even 4e, which got hammered for "not feeling like D&D" didn't do anything nearly that radical.

And there are plenty of other systems you can use if that's what you want. But some people (myself included) like the core of D&D and don't want it ruined by making it just another skill/point-buy system.
----------------
For me, personally, I hope that if 6e is ever released, it's a long time from now. Barring tinkering around the edges, 5e does everything I want from a D&D system. And a slow release pace (for player options) is a plus for me, not a minus. Reasons:
* It helps keep quality higher. TSR (and lots of 3e) showed that a fast pace means massive quality control problems.
* It lets them focus on things they do well, namely adventures.
* It doesn't fragment the landscape or force people to buy dozens of books for that one EPIC COMBO.
* It helps keep power creep somewhat under control while not flooding the market with trap options.
* It leaves a larger landscape for 3pp and private homebrew work.

And it's hard to argue that the slow pace is a bad business decision, considering that the (very much smaller) 5e team is selling more books than ever before, with more active players than ever before.


There is a lot of ground, but
* changing to a skill/point-buy (rather than class/level) system
* removing the increasing HP
* changing away from a D20
(which were all proposed) isn't in that ground IMO.

There are changes you can make that are much less sweeping than those.

This thread moved along a ways since I last posted in it, but these sum up my stance pretty well.

And if any company can afford a slow release schedule it's WotC.



For the love of all that is good and right, PLEASE ditch Vancian magic once and for all. (And no, I don't consider it core to D&D.) So much of what's hard about balance and magic in D&D could be solved by burying that fossil in the dirt where it belongs.

Agreed, would much rather have cooldown-based or points-based spellcasting.



On Classes, lean towards toolkit instead of archetype, and clearly do so. If the best mechanics to represent a character shouldn't be walled off behind a bunch of assumptions and tropes. Being a highly skilled character shouldn't be fixed into being the sneak-thief or the entertainer/scoundrel. Being the character with inherent non-spell magical powers shouldn't be fixed into having "sold your soul" (or whatever pact).

Well, the good news is that it isn't this way in D&D/PF either. The bad news is you have to go outside core, i.e. you buy the books containing the new classes/subclasses/archetypes that do those things. So if you want to be a skillful fighter or stealthy cleric, you buy the "scoundrel book" that includes those approaches for them.

It's perhaps not the nicest way WotC/Paizo could go about this sort of thing, but the economics are sound.

Mordaedil
2019-09-11, 07:30 AM
So your problem isn't lack of options. You just don't like the choices. So less a problem of design and more a matter of preference

As someone who is enjoying both 5e and 3.5 right now, I feel like 5e does offer options, but for some reason, all of the options are pretty front heavy, even if they give rewards later, which is a thing 3.5 does poorly.

Compare subclasses in 5e to a paladin's progression in 3.5. You could easily see that both give a boat load of options early on, but 5e actually rewards the player depending on an early choice all the way down to the later levels, while the 3.5 paladin can only really look forward to more smites and remove diseases. But in 3.5 you do have prestige classes you can go into to expand said options and you are given a truckload of them and multiclassing is relatively a painless ordeal.

Now, I don't think the answer is really to go back to the prestige class ordeal. Instead I'd look at what 4e did with paragon and epic destiny features. We should have had those pop up at level 10 and 15, and a final thing at 20. Not necessarily to break the game, but to give players extra options to customize their classes. Heck, could tie it into subclass features instead and offer choices, like how the warlock earns invocations in 5e.

That's the kind of customization I think is missing from 5e that it could benefit from.

Rhedyn
2019-09-11, 09:12 AM
That's the kind of customization I think is missing from 5e that it could benefit from. Shadow of the Demon Lord

I'm beginning to suspect that the D&D 6e everyone wants to play already exists, the issue is that they are different games for each and don't have "D&D" on the front.

Many of you don't want to hunt for the system you like and GM it. You instead want to be able to play your ideal system and you are only going to do that if it is the current D&D edition, or you trained up a group of people for years on another system and sometime else wants to GM.

To that sentiment, well too bad. In all likelihood D&D 5e will be around for 10 more years (if not longer) so if you want something else you'll have to play something else.

I know this thread is about what you want 6e to be, but whenever that is "I want the D&D logo on this other game" maybe you should play that game rather than wait on WotC.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-11, 09:48 AM
Shadow of the Demon Lord

I'm beginning to suspect that the D&D 6e everyone wants to play already exists, the issue is that they are different games for each and don't have "D&D" on the front.

Many of you don't want to hunt for the system you like and GM it. You instead want to be able to play your ideal system and you are only going to do that if it is the current D&D edition, or you trained up a group of people for years on another system and sometime else wants to GM.

To that sentiment, well too bad. In all likelihood D&D 5e will be around for 10 more years (if not longer) so if you want something else you'll have to play something else.

I know this thread is about what you want 6e to be, but whenever that is "I want the D&D logo on this other game" maybe you should play that game rather than wait on WotC.


That's why my comments on this thread have not been "get rid of levels, classes, and scaling HP".

But it's frustrating as hell trying to find a system that actually does what I want it to, every one of them seems to have some fatal flaw... or a dozen fatal flaws.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-11, 09:58 AM
That's why my comments on this thread have not been "get rid of levels, classes, and scaling HP".

But it's frustrating as hell trying to find a system that actually does what I want it to, every one of them seems to have some fatal flaw... or a dozen fatal flaws.

Given the size of the hobby, it is possible that there are some weird little conflations where all games that A (that you want) also have B (which you can take or leave) and C (a fatal flaw, in your book), simply because all/enough of the other people who want A consider them to go hand in hand with B and C. You've mentioned WEG Star Wars and Hero System, what were their FFs?

Rhedyn
2019-09-11, 10:07 AM
But it's frustrating as hell trying to find a system that actually does what I want it to, every one of them seems to have some fatal flaw... or a dozen fatal flaws.
My fatal flaw for most systems is "isn't this more interesting/better in Savage Worlds?". That has filtered out most crunchier systems and I've only considered running lighter crunch OSR games like Stars Without Number (or anything Kevin Crawford makes) or The Black Hack 2e. Like as cool as DCCRPG is, I might only play that at con games.

Other systems kill systems for me. Like I was way more content with D&D 5e before discovering Savage Worlds, and I liked Maze Rats before deciding I liked The Black Hack 2e better.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-11, 10:09 AM
Shadow of the Demon Lord

I'm beginning to suspect that the D&D 6e everyone wants to play already exists, the issue is that they are different games for each and don't have "D&D" on the front.

This. In general I've noticed a massive difference in what people want from D&D edition+1 based on if they own any other games (that aren't directly based on D&D). As a rough rule if you own other games you don't want D&D to change much, because either you like it as it is or you own a game that does what you want D&D to do well enough.

I want a classless and levelless D&D, but I already own good enough games. Both The Dark Eye and GURPS can do what I want in a heroic fantasy game to a good enough degree that it would be really hard for D&D to do that better, I wouldn't mind seeing the D&D core rulebook(s) going back to a more classic BD&D style where there's only 4 races/classes in the book and things like the Paladin are in supplements, but that's arguably about a change in presentation over content*.

* It's also mainly to make it more clear to people that restricting the game to make things easier is fine. I've seen new groups run into problems due to having setups like 'a halfing barbarian, elf druid, tiefling warlock, dwarf monk, and gnome ranger/sorcerer' forcing the GM to learn five or six of the nonstandard classes at the same time as the system, four races/classes with three or four subraces/subclasses should be fine.


Many of you don't want to hunt for the system you like and GM it. You instead want to be able to play your ideal system and you are only going to do that if it is the current D&D edition, or you trained up a group of people for years on another system and sometime else wants to GM.

This reminds me, I need to see if I can organise a game of Cyberpunk. Really want to play that system, so I'd better work out a run to send some PCs on.

EDIT: I should point out that my 'to run' list covers everything from classic games like Cyberpunk to modern games like Eclipse Phase: Transhumanity's Fate and goes all over the weight spectrum. I can just have a lot of trouble finding groups willing to chance something that isn't D&D.


To that sentiment, well too bad. In all likelihood D&D 5e will be around for 10 more years (if not longer) so if you want something else you'll have to play something else.

I know this thread is about what you want 6e to be, but whenever that is "I want the D&D logo on this other game" maybe you should play that game rather than wait on WotC.

Honestly, I expect WotC hopes they won't have to release another edition ever. Which is cool, the 'new core rulebooks every three to five' years arrangement was weird and not very customer friendly, but I wouldn't be shocked if they released an updated 'Player's Handbook 5.1' or something which updated things and maybe shuffled some races, feats, and subclasses into or out of core (while making the Adventurer's League ruling something like 'you can use the PhB5e or PhB5.1, but not both).

But yeah, 5e was pretty much intended to stick around for over a decade, it was explicit back during the D&D Next days (when they were insisting it wouldn't be called Fifth Edition). And 5e is pretty clearly making enough money for Hasbro not to can it, so we can also expect book releases to be about what they currently are for the next few years.

Really the only problem I have with 5e is the lack of legally available pdfs. Everything else boils down to '5e isn't to my tastes'. As it is i'm stick to BD&D when I run the 'iconic roleplaying game', I have the pdf of the Rules Cyclopedia and most people can wrap their heads around archetype-based classes.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-11, 10:22 AM
Given the size of the hobby, it is possible that there are some weird little conflations where all games that A (that you want) also have B (which you can take or leave) and C (a fatal flaw, in your book), simply because all/enough of the other people who want A consider them to go hand in hand with B and C. You've mentioned WEG Star Wars and Hero System, what were their FFs?

WEG d6 -- As much fun as I had playing it at the time, I've come to dislike dice pools, especially that add involve adding up raw numbers. The results are just too swingy and broad. And often the difficulty numbers given don't scale with the average die results -- such as scaling by 5 when using d6, which average 3.5 per die.

HERO -- the segment/phase/SPEED action system isn't fluid or adaptable, and results in some odd instances of characters not able to defend themselves for no reason other than a quirk in how their sequence interacts with another sequence. I'd love to find a way to replace it with an "action point pool" of some kind. Lesser issue, because it covers such a wide range of "power levels", the "not superheroic" scale is compressed.



My fatal flaw for most systems is "isn't this more interesting/better in Savage Worlds?". That has filtered out most crunchier systems and I've only considered running lighter crunch OSR games like Stars Without Number (or anything Kevin Crawford makes) or The Black Hack 2e. Like as cool as DCCRPG is, I might only play that at con games.

Other systems kill systems for me. Like I was way more content with D&D 5e before discovering Savage Worlds, and I liked Maze Rats before deciding I liked The Black Hack 2e better.

My history goes back to the early 80s... I've seen a LOT of systems. WEG d6, HERO, and even WOD "ruined" anything d20/levels/classes for me by way of saying "all these things are absolutely unnecessary and maybe even counter-productive".

Rhedyn
2019-09-11, 11:43 AM
My history goes back to the early 80s... I've seen a LOT of systems. WEG d6, HERO, and even WOD "ruined" anything d20/levels/classes for me by way of saying "all these things are absolutely unnecessary and maybe even counter-productive".
Oh I agree that the "d20/levels/classes/HP" may just be inefficient starting points.

The only author that has really challenged that assumption is Kevin Crawford. Stars Without Number manages to have all these things and still be very light and comprehensive. I'm looking forward to Wolves of God and Worlds Without Number. (Idk if his Godbound game has classes).

Psyren
2019-09-11, 12:29 PM
This. In general I've noticed a massive difference in what people want from D&D edition+1 based on if they own any other games (that aren't directly based on D&D). As a rough rule if you own other games you don't want D&D to change much, because either you like it as it is or you own a game that does what you want D&D to do well enough.

Point of order: I own very few other games and I'm perfectly happy with D&D as-is. Even as sour as I initially was on 5e, I've come around to realizing it's likely the best version of D&D ever made, in terms of knowing exactly what it wants to be and then executing on that in an accessible way. It straddles the line quite well between too much crunch and not enough, and still feels like D&D. It's not flawless by any stretch (I still hate bounded accuracy and mother-may-I mechanics, even as I acknowledge their importance to the system's design), but it's revitalized interest not just in its own brand, but in the hobby as a whole.

For Pathfinder meanwhile, there are definitely aspects of 2e that I find interesting, but almost nothing that I don't feel P1 is doing better.

Rhedyn
2019-09-11, 12:45 PM
...Even as sour as I initially was on 5e, I've come around to realizing it's likely the best version of D&D ever made, in terms of knowing exactly what it wants to be and then executing on that in an accessible way...Bah, and here I find D&D 5e to be the least tolerable of any edition from 4e to Basic D&D (I don't know much about the 70s version).

I like mid-crunch games, just not the way 5e does it.

I could run it like an OSR game with demigod PCs, but F trying to make balanced encounters. "Ah well just have 6 encounters a day with two short rest and the last fight will feel challenging" Zzzzzzzz

I really don't like the skill system. You could remove it entirely and I think the game would be better for it. Replace it with a roll under attribute system and just say people have advantage on checks they get class features for and I have a much more workable system (stolen from The Black Hack 2e). "Oh but my character wants to be good at alchemy." "Ok there is a teacher in the next city willing to take on a student who gets him X rare material from the Fel Gnoll Mines, in exchange he will teach you how to make..?" "Alchemist fire!" "Yeah sure alchemist fire, you'll be able to make it at half the price and get a free one once per session as the result of your alchemical pursuits."

Willie the Duck
2019-09-11, 12:54 PM
HERO -- the segment/phase/SPEED action system isn't fluid or adaptable, and results in some odd instances of characters not able to defend themselves for no reason other than a quirk in how their sequence interacts with another sequence. I'd love to find a way to replace it with an "action point pool" of some kind.

Hmm. Hadn't thought about it, but agreed. Once you move away from rather abstract systems for such things, you really have to do it well or else it ends up worse than the abstract system. The 'abort to ____' system is one of those rudimentary systems for acting off-turn that doesn't work as well as a straight up RQ-like action point system.



I really don't like the skill system. You could remove it entirely and I think the game would be better for it. Replace it with a roll under attribute system and just say people have advantage on checks they get class features for and I have a much more workable system (stolen from The Black Hack 2e). "Oh but my character wants to be good at alchemy." "Ok there is a teacher in the next city willing to take on a student who gets him X rare material from the Fel Gnoll Mines, in exchange he will teach you how to make..?" "Alchemist fire!" "Yeah sure alchemist fire, you'll be able to make it at half the price and get a free one once per session as the result of your alchemical pursuits."

The skill system definitely seems like a bit of an overcompensation for complaints with 3e and 4e. It seems almost vestigial in nature. Frankly, pertinent to the OT, honestly I think by the time 6E rolls around there might be enough distance from those that they might revisit the skill concept and decide exactly what they are trying to do with them.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-11, 01:33 PM
Point of order: I own very few other games and I'm perfectly happy with D&D as-is....

Sorry, I should have written that the other way around. 'There is a trend that those who wish to make massive changes to D&D tend not to own any other systems.' I wasn't trying to imply that there weren't people happy with D&D who own few other systems, but generally that people with other systems who don't like what D&D is like just tend to play other systems.


I really don't like the skill system. You could remove it entirely and I think the game would be better for it. Replace it with a roll under attribute system and just say people have advantage on checks they get class features for and I have a much more workable system (stolen from The Black Hack 2e). "Oh but my character wants to be good at alchemy." "Ok there is a teacher in the next city willing to take on a student who gets him X rare material from the Fel Gnoll Mines, in exchange he will teach you how to make..?" "Alchemist fire!" "Yeah sure alchemist fire, you'll be able to make it at half the price and get a free one once per session as the result of your alchemical pursuits."

The skill system is just terrible when compared to the rest of the game and what the game claims to be. A game like BD&D where skills were an optional extra and most noncombat things that mattered in dungeon crawling got specific rules for them is much better, especially in a game about dungeon crawling.

In fact, I have made a hack that fixed everything I had an issue with in 5e, and it's essentially a different game. Four stats (Physique, Dexterity, Intelligence, Presence), no classes, magic drains resources far faster, and so on, and I'm torn between Proficiency just giving straight advantage on a check or letting players spend points from a Proficiency Pool to get advantage on the check, having cut the Proficiency Bonus entirely. I'm actually leaning much towards the latter at the moment, combining it with Inspiration to encourage Character Traits to come up often.

But D&D 6e shouldn't be that. It's barely recognisable as D&D, only really taking the d20 roll, the Advantage mechanic, and some abilities that really aren't an inherently D&D thing.

Bjarkmundur
2019-09-11, 01:39 PM
The only problem with new systems is that it cuts off support for older systems :(

Mordaedil
2019-09-12, 01:21 AM
Shadow of the Demon Lord

I'm beginning to suspect that the D&D 6e everyone wants to play already exists, the issue is that they are different games for each and don't have "D&D" on the front.

Many of you don't want to hunt for the system you like and GM it. You instead want to be able to play your ideal system and you are only going to do that if it is the current D&D edition, or you trained up a group of people for years on another system and sometime else wants to GM.

To that sentiment, well too bad. In all likelihood D&D 5e will be around for 10 more years (if not longer) so if you want something else you'll have to play something else.

I know this thread is about what you want 6e to be, but whenever that is "I want the D&D logo on this other game" maybe you should play that game rather than wait on WotC.

It's easier to get people to play D&D than to play any other game system. I've tried for years to even get a Call of Cthulhu and Shadowrun game going, but everybody just wants to play D&D.

Composer99
2019-09-12, 01:46 AM
I learned to play on Basic D&D and cut my teeth running games (and playing without adult guidance) on 2nd edition AD&D. Played a fair bit of 3.5 and 3.5-Star Wars. Never got into 4th, although that's probably because its release kind of fell into a hiatus in playing table-top RPGs. Played some PF1.

I have to say that 5e is my favourite edition, and in my estimation is the best edition of the game. I love tweaking it and messing around with the system, and I find it's easier to brew for 5e than for any other edition.

I don't see the need for a 6e any time soon - better to have something like the old AD&D Player's Option series with more developed variants or revamped subsystems.

If there were to be a 6e in the near future, what I would look to see there would be better fleshed-out subsystems for non-combat activities - exploration, social interaction, and downtime - and making sure character build options that interact with those subsystems aren't directly competing with combat-oriented character build options.

Cluedrew
2019-09-12, 09:29 PM
It's easier to get people to play D&D than to play any other game system. I've tried for years to even get a Call of Cthulhu and Shadowrun game going, but everybody just wants to play D&D.And this is the real reason I think some people would love some massive overhauls to D&D. When you are stuck with people who just want to play D&D (especially when they haven't really tried other things), the game completely changing is a good thing, because it gives you more completely different options. And maybe it will be towards something you like as well.

Morgana
2019-09-13, 12:42 AM
I don't really see 5e's slower release making it higher quality honestly. Like, so many of the options are just extremely dull, especially the core ones. Like, they don't really have very interesting flavors or mechanics, and ultimately all feels very samey to me. I'd maybe be more accepting of a slower release if what they did go for was more consistent. But it just feels like some options were released in different stages of production if that makes sense? There are things such as divine strike and potent spellcaster that I just feel don't really work as the designers intended it to, and there's a lot of things that aren't very practical once you actually try to apply them to more realistic scenarios, I feel

Rhedyn
2019-09-13, 07:07 AM
I don't really see 5e's slower release making it higher quality honestly. Like, so many of the options are just extremely dull, especially the core ones. Like, they don't really have very interesting flavors or mechanics, and ultimately all feels very samey to me. I'd maybe be more accepting of a slower release if what they did go for was more consistent. But it just feels like some options were released in different stages of production if that makes sense? There are things such as divine strike and potent spellcaster that I just feel don't really work as the designers intended it to, and there's a lot of things that aren't very practical once you actually try to apply them to more realistic scenarios, I feelI can't speak to the splat books, but the 5e core books have interesting and flavorful class mechanics. My gripe is that they do not work right and create massively overpowered characters.

If 5e mechanics are boring, then I suggest going to games like Ars Magica, Mutants and Masterminds, or high point buy GURPS.

Ignimortis
2019-09-13, 09:01 AM
I can't speak to the splat books, but the 5e core books have interesting and flavorful class mechanics. My gripe is that they do not work right and create massively overpowered characters.
.

5e and overpowered? 5e and interesting mechanics for most classes? I didn't expect to post in this thread after explaining my point of view, but your post contradicts everything I know about 5e. Would you explain how 5e characters are overpowered and mechanically interesting? Especially classes like Fighter or Rogue or (oof) Warlock.

It's just that I recently had a small epiphany about why I dislike 5e - the edition is mostly combat mechanics, and yet 5e combat mechanics usually don't allow you to delete at least one opponent on your turn. That usually means that every enemy feels tough, even when they aren't really supposed to be tough.

I mean, a level 11 kensei monk does 2d10+2d8+28 (so 48 on average without crits) damage in 5e (+3 weapon and 20 DEX), while having a respectable 23 AC. But even CR5 opponents usually have more health than that, and that requires me to blow resources and hit all my attacks (which doesn't always happen, of course). So it takes me two turns to solo-kill one enemy that is not even supposed to be that much of a challenge.

Compare that to three other games I used to play extensively or currently play: 3.5/PF1e, VtM and Shadowrun. I have a soft spot for combat characters anyway, and all of these games actually allow me to utterly demolish at least a single enemy in one turn. Pathfinder, I had a Harbinger who did 100+ damage per round at level 9 if he went all out (and that "all out" usually recharged if he got a kill). VtM - Celerity is basically the "kill this whole room dead" discipline unless you're facing another combat-worthy vampire or werewolves. Shadowrun, well, Street Samurai are almost the epitome of what combat characters should be, IMO.

Rhedyn
2019-09-13, 09:35 AM
5e and overpowered? 5e and interesting mechanics for most classes? I didn't expect to post in this thread after explaining my point of view, but your post contradicts everything I know about 5e. Would you explain how 5e characters are overpowered and mechanically interesting? Especially classes like Fighter or Rogue or (oof) Warlock.

It's just that I recently had a small epiphany about why I dislike 5e - the edition is mostly combat mechanics, and yet 5e combat mechanics usually don't allow you to delete at least one opponent on your turn. That usually means that every enemy feels tough, even when they aren't really supposed to be tough.

I mean, a level 11 kensei monk does 2d10+2d8+28 (so 48 on average without crits) damage in 5e (+3 weapon and 20 DEX), while having a respectable 23 AC. But even CR5 opponents usually have more health than that, and that requires me to blow resources and hit all my attacks (which doesn't always happen, of course). So it takes me two turns to solo-kill one enemy that is not even supposed to be that much of a challenge.

Compare that to three other games I used to play extensively or currently play: 3.5/PF1e, VtM and Shadowrun. I have a soft spot for combat characters anyway, and all of these games actually allow me to utterly demolish at least a single enemy in one turn. Pathfinder, I had a Harbinger who did 100+ damage per round at level 9 if he went all out (and that "all out" usually recharged if he got a kill). VtM - Celerity is basically the "kill this whole room dead" discipline unless you're facing another combat-worthy vampire or werewolves. Shadowrun, well, Street Samurai are almost the epitome of what combat characters should be, IMO.
Oh man, I'm defending 5e right now.

Well first off I agree that combat is boring. The overpowered characters stem a lot from boring sacks-of-hp weak monsters. But I also disagree with the whole balance premise behind the game, 6-8 encounters per long rest. Lawl no, I'm not running that slog, so if you cut the game down to 1-3 encounters per long rest, now every character is OP and the game really can't handle what they are doing (and no, changing the rest variant time doesn't help the mechanics).

Now back when I read the mechanics and thought they looked cool, I looked at 1-20 builds. In practice, the good part of 5e is over by level 4 and campaigns end before 10 without a ton of work by the DM and players just rolling with character destroying houserules.

But with that in mind let's start with Fighter:
Champion is pretty boring until you realize that it is your non-cha focused skill monkey build.

Champion Human Guild Artisan
14 str 14 dex 14 con 14 int 14 wis 11 cha
Skills: Survival, Animal Handling, Insight, Persuasion, Alchemy
Languages: Common, Draconic
Fighting Styles: Dueling, Archery
ASI: +2 str, +2 str, +2str. +2 dex, +2dex, +2dex, +2 con

Aside from the skill system being crap Remarkable Athlete really rounds out the build (you can do things like play every instrument or be pretty good at every craft). Your good (not great) at both melee and range combat, you have tons of attacks, an action surge, second wind, and the ability to re-roll saves. Great stuff (crits are lame but you eventually regenerate health).

Battlemaster is where being mundane is interesting. I would basically always go variant human here and spam feats to go with maneuvers. The only builds I have on me focused on stats though

Vhuman Fighter 16 8 16 10 13 10
Great Weapon Master, +2 str, +2 str, Resilient(Wis), Mounted Combat, Sentinel, +2 con, +2 con

Vhuman(Great Weapon Master, Insight) Battlemaster (Animal Handling, Survival, Cartographer tool’s) Sailor (Athletics, Perception, Navigation tools, Water vehicles) 16 8 16 10 13 10
ASI: Mounted Combatant, +2 str, +2str, Resilient (wisdom), Martial Adept, +2 con, +2con
Maneuvers: Trip Attack, Precision Attack, Riposte, Goading Attack, Menacing Attack, Maneuvering Attack, Commander’s Strike, Distracting Strike, Pushing Attack, Feinting Attack, Evasive Footwork

I'm a big fan of mounted combat, but obviously GWM is essential for any proper DPR build 8d6+60 is a good amount of damage and hitting doesn't become that hard with advantage and a magic sword.

My vision of EKs were diet-wizards, also vhuman to get ritual caster, go defensive style, pick up warcaster, use a shield. Smash foes, spit fireballs, and rock that 21-26 AC before magic items.

For rogues assassin's were boring, but thieves getting that extra use object action was cool along with second story work, but obviously arcane trickers are cooler because they also get magic.

The Warlock is just well designed so I don't get your problem with it. Warlocks and monks are the only good classes in 5e D&D. My personal favorite was going bladelock with vhuman to pick up medium armor and then heavy armor by level 4. By then you have 18 str, 16 Cha and decent damage at both range and melee. The trick with bladelock is to keep your blade as good or better than your EB. Naturally I want with greatsword and dumped dex with heavy armor. Spells round out a good martial kit and cantrips are tons of utility, (minor image).

Nah man 5e read good, it sucked in play for me.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-13, 09:39 AM
It's just that I recently had a small epiphany about why I dislike 5e - the edition is mostly combat mechanics, and yet 5e combat mechanics usually don't allow you to delete at least one opponent on your turn. That usually means that every enemy feels tough, even when they aren't really supposed to be tough.

I mean, a level 11 kensei monk does 2d10+2d8+28 (so 48 on average without crits) damage in 5e (+3 weapon and 20 DEX), while having a respectable 23 AC. But even CR5 opponents usually have more health than that, and that requires me to blow resources and hit all my attacks (which doesn't always happen, of course). So it takes me two turns to solo-kill one enemy that is not even supposed to be that much of a challenge.

Compare that to three other games I used to play extensively or currently play: 3.5/PF1e, VtM and Shadowrun. I have a soft spot for combat characters anyway, and all of these games actually allow me to utterly demolish at least a single enemy in one turn. Pathfinder, I had a Harbinger who did 100+ damage per round at level 9 if he went all out (and that "all out" usually recharged if he got a kill). VtM - Celerity is basically the "kill this whole room dead" discipline unless you're facing another combat-worthy vampire or werewolves. Shadowrun, well, Street Samurai are almost the epitome of what combat characters should be, IMO.

Being able to one-round-kill a single other opponent* is a rather specific definition of overpowered, or of engaging or interesting combat mechanics. Given that this is all in terms of personal opinion, it's certainly not wrong. However, again, it's a very specific bar to set. Do you have any specific reasoning behind this, or is it straight up just what you want in a system?
*let's say 'neither deliberate speed-bump nor BBEG'


Oh man, I'm defending 5e right now.
I know, right? I consider it the Honda Civic of RPG systems, yet I end up defending it all the time, simply because there is so much complaining about it not being <this other thing that is readily available and WotC trying to turn D&D into it would alienate huge swaths of D&D fans>. I have the same situation with GURPS -- I neither love it nor hate it, but I have this one friend with an irrational hatred of it and keeps dumping on it, so I end up coming up with defenses for a system on which I have no strong opinion.

Ignimortis
2019-09-13, 10:20 AM
Oh man, I'm defending 5e right now.

Well first off I agree that combat is boring. The overpowered characters stem a lot from boring sacks-of-hp weak monsters. But I also disagree with the whole balance premise behind the game, 6-8 encounters per long rest. Lawl no, I'm not running that slog, so if you cut the game down to 1-3 encounters per long rest, now every character is OP and the game really can't handle what they are doing (and no, changing the rest variant time doesn't help the mechanics).

Now back when I read the mechanics and thought they looked cool, I looked at 1-20 builds. In practice, the good part of 5e is over by level 4 and campaigns end before 10 without a ton of work by the DM and players just rolling with character destroying houserules.

*snip*

Nah man 5e read good, it sucked in play for me.

Oh, in that sense, yeah, I would agree that characters are OP if you just let them nova the whole time. That's why I don't like "longer-term resource management" and "typical adventuring days". The best resource to build stuff around is actions - you get them all the time, you spend them all the time. It's active and engaging, IF you have cool actions to do.

That's why I said that 5e doesn't actually seem too interesting in mechanics - because there aren't really many good things to do with your actions. Fighter is 90% "I attack", so's Rogue (with interspersed Stealth rolls sometimes). Warlock is basically "I Eldritch Blast" when you're out of spells (and you're almost always out of spells). Sure, there are theoretically other things you can do with your actions...but they aren't as good. Monk is okay, because at least you can run on walls and ceilings, teleport if you're a shadowmonk, really abuse shove/grapple if you're open hand, etc. It's not far from other martials in "I attack" ratio, but you've got ways to use those things in unusual ways. Spellcasters are fine, of course, because spells are always fun and tactically complex. But I don't like spellcasters, at least not overtly magicky ones. So I'd want theoretical 6e to include a martial class that doesn't revolve around basic attacks. Maybe even something like martial adepts.


Being able to one-round-kill a single other opponent* is a rather specific definition of overpowered, or of engaging or interesting combat mechanics. Given that this is all in terms of personal opinion, it's certainly not wrong. However, again, it's a very specific bar to set. Do you have any specific reasoning behind this, or is it straight up just what you want in a system?
*let's say 'neither deliberate speed-bump nor BBEG'

One-hit-kills are more about characters feeling powerful than it being actually engaging mechanics - I'll be the first one to admit that my VtM combat strategies often were nothing unusual - pop Celerity 4, allocate one or two actions to dodging, go to town with basic attack rolls. The major considerations were mostly uncoupled from my own abilities and related to the circumstances - how much blood I can spend, how many enemies are there, what weapons they have (can I soak that somewhat reliably?), their positioning, etc. But making a room look like a meat blender just exploded was nice. Overpowered, of course - in a good way.

However, there's also a degree of underlying system motivation to do that. In all of those games, a lucky stray shot/spell could really mess you up. In 3.PF it's mostly save-or-die spells, so I have to get to the mage fast and kill him right now. Shadowrun/VtM, each attack is potentially lethal (even if my dodges and soak are through the roof, something can always slip by), so reducing the amount of people attacking you ASAP is also really important. 5e? There are very few save-or-suck spells and most monsters don't get those. They get attacks which probably can hit you on a 12 or so, and do about 1/8-1/4th of your HP in damage. You hit them on a 6 or an 8, and do 1/3-1/2 of their HP in damage. It's much closer to padded sumo and attrition tactics than rocket tag, and I'd prefer the combat to be on the taggier side (but not all the way there, I like long campaigns with developed characters).

As for engaging mechanics, it might be obvious by this point, I'm a huge fan of martial adepts in 3.5/PF. They combine some utility and tactical complexity of spellcasters with "hey, I'm swinging a giant sword", so that they're both martial and not reduced to just basic-attacking all the time.

malachi
2019-09-13, 11:28 AM
First off, what I'd want 6e to do is give each race some active thing they can do to feel like their race actually mattered. +1 to all stats (standard human in 5e) is boring.
Granted, what counts as "active" is subjective - I think things like a dwarf's stonecunning is active, because it causes players to jump in and say "hey, this is stone. I know what it's like" and then lick the rocks. Other people might go so far as to say you need an active power like races got in 4e. But elves (trace only sort of counts), halflings, humans, and half-elves don't have anything you can actively do, and several races have either underwhelming things (dragonborn) or conditional things (dwarves, gnomes, half-orcs) to do.


Secondly, I'd want darkvision to change. Don't make a single feature so important that not having it is almost a penalty. It shouldn't let PCs see into darkness uninhibited, and should just let them see into dim light without penalties.
Alternately, tie all darkvision to some kind of light sensitivity: darkvision lets you see fine in dim light, but have disadvantage in bright light (without caring if it comes from the sun or not) or darkness.



Third, if D&D is going to claim that all three pillars (combat, exploration, social) are equally important, it should give each class something mechanically cool to contribute to each pillar, beyond just "you have bigger numbers when you do this". As it is, all classes seem to be intended to contribute roughly evenly to combat, while certain classes (rogue, ranger, bard, other spell-casters) are intended to also contribute to other pillars in interesting ways.

Additionally, if 6E is going to retain the "adventuring day" philosophy (which seems to be inherent in a Vancian / spell slot / spell point / daily use system), then it should give guidance to DMs on how to make non-combat encounters that actually interact with the party's depletable resources. In 5e, rogues are good skillmonkeys, but the only resource they expend when using their skills is HP when they accidentally set off a trap instead of disarming it.

Maybe, and this would be a huge stretch that would look a bit too much like 4e, every class should share a common resource pool of "spectacular points". Spellcasters would use spectacular pointsas spell slots. Non-spellcasters would use spectacular pointsfor things in combat can be more interesting than "I attack and deal damage", just like spellcasters have options for more interesting things than "I cast a spell and deal damage" (but have both as valid options). Non-spellcasters would use spectacular pointsout of combat for doing things that are more interesting than "I roll a d20+mod+prof", just like spellcasters have spells that can do things that are more interesting than that (but would still have the option of just rolling a skill check, just like in combat there is always the option of using cantrips or standard attacks).
As a corollary of this, that allows different levels of pacing beyond determining how long it takes to rest, but also impacting how much you get back on a rest. For instance, if a GM wants a grittier game, they could say that you only recover 1/2 of your spectacular points on a rest, or maybe get back 2x your spectacular points for a superhero game.

Also, maybe you could create patchwork characters (which might go against the archetype model of D&D) where you choose: Race, Background, Combat class, Exploration class, Social class. So you could, theoretically, have someone who uses all types of magic, or someone who only used combat magic, or only used social magic.



6e should make sure that all classes have fluff and mechanics that are interesting and match (unlike 5e beastmaster rangers who have a beast that feels less alive than the familiar or mount created by wizard or paladin spells).

Rhedyn
2019-09-13, 12:10 PM
Oh, in that sense, yeah, I would agree that characters are OP if you just let them nova the whole time. That's why I don't like "longer-term resource management" and "typical adventuring days". The best resource to build stuff around is actions - you get them all the time, you spend them all the time. It's active and engaging, IF you have cool actions to do.

That's why I said that 5e doesn't actually seem too interesting in mechanics - because there aren't really many good things to do with your actions. Fighter is 90% "I attack", so's Rogue (with interspersed Stealth rolls sometimes). Warlock is basically "I Eldritch Blast" when you're out of spells (and you're almost always out of spells). Sure, there are theoretically other things you can do with your actions...but they aren't as good. Monk is okay, because at least you can run on walls and ceilings, teleport if you're a shadowmonk, really abuse shove/grapple if you're open hand, etc. It's not far from other martials in "I attack" ratio, but you've got ways to use those things in unusual ways. Spellcasters are fine, of course, because spells are always fun and tactically complex. But I don't like spellcasters, at least not overtly magicky ones. So I'd want theoretical 6e to include a martial class that doesn't revolve around basic attacks. Maybe even something like martial adepts.



One-hit-kills are more about characters feeling powerful than it being actually engaging mechanics - I'll be the first one to admit that my VtM combat strategies often were nothing unusual - pop Celerity 4, allocate one or two actions to dodging, go to town with basic attack rolls. The major considerations were mostly uncoupled from my own abilities and related to the circumstances - how much blood I can spend, how many enemies are there, what weapons they have (can I soak that somewhat reliably?), their positioning, etc. But making a room look like a meat blender just exploded was nice. Overpowered, of course - in a good way.

However, there's also a degree of underlying system motivation to do that. In all of those games, a lucky stray shot/spell could really mess you up. In 3.PF it's mostly save-or-die spells, so I have to get to the mage fast and kill him right now. Shadowrun/VtM, each attack is potentially lethal (even if my dodges and soak are through the roof, something can always slip by), so reducing the amount of people attacking you ASAP is also really important. 5e? There are very few save-or-suck spells and most monsters don't get those. They get attacks which probably can hit you on a 12 or so, and do about 1/8-1/4th of your HP in damage. You hit them on a 6 or an 8, and do 1/3-1/2 of their HP in damage. It's much closer to padded sumo and attrition tactics than rocket tag, and I'd prefer the combat to be on the taggier side (but not all the way there, I like long campaigns with developed characters).

As for engaging mechanics, it might be obvious by this point, I'm a huge fan of martial adepts in 3.5/PF. They combine some utility and tactical complexity of spellcasters with "hey, I'm swinging a giant sword", so that they're both martial and not reduced to just basic-attacking all the time.
I feel like you would enjoy the trick/support system in Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. Granted "martials"* do spend a lot of time attacking, but they do that because they can one shot the foe if the situation is set up right. And that's where most the game is against tougher foes, setting up the big attacks.


*Martial meaning a character that doesn't interact with the power system, even though the trappings (flavor) of those powers don't have to be magical.

oxybe
2019-09-13, 03:26 PM
Someone mentioned SotDL.

Our Shadow of the Demon Lord game just got hiatus'd because the GM "Has started uni again" and "Engineering is a studious subject". Sigh.

The system scratches a lot of itches for me (makes sense looking at the author).

-it effectively borrows 4e's heroic/paragon/epic class structure but condenses it to 10 levels. these aren't tied to any particular requirements so you could have a Warrior/Witch/Miracle Worker.
-it borrows the level progression from 4e-derived Gamma world, in that each level you gain a feature from one of your chosen classes. so at level 1 & 2 you gain heroic abilty, then a paragon one at 3, a racial ability at 4, heroic at 5, paragon at 6, epic at 7...
-it's ditched the 14(+2) stat structure. a 14 is a +4 to stat checks. an 11 is a +1. ability checks are all made vs static dc 10.
-there are no skills. You have "professions". these give bonus d6's to your ability roll if thematically applicable.
-number progression are even tighter then 5e.
-etc.

it's not ideal IMO, tastes being what they are, but it does do a lot of what I would've wanted from an alternative universe 5e D&D.

I do like a more focused skill list over the more open to interpretation professions and progressively bigger numbers over a flattened curve. the grimdarker aspects of the overall tone does guide the rules: while healing is present (and it's percentile relative to the character!) it's very easy to get hurt and spend a long time recuperating without healing magic. I prefer a more "i bandage my wounds, clench my teeth and keep fighting" John McClane/action movie protagonist type adventurer that modern D&D portrays.

Again it's not that SotDL does these things badly, it's just not my personal preference. I'm just more of a "In defiance of the demon lord" then a "shadow of the demon lord" guy, if that makes sense.

malachi
2019-09-13, 04:43 PM
Oh, and I forgot to mention: do something to remove the pass/fail or affected/immune state of things. For instance, hold person could do something like the following:
- If the target fails their save by 6 or more, the target is paralyzed.
- If the target fails their save by up to 5, the target is stunned.
- If the target passes their save by 0 - 5, the target is restrained.
- If the target passes their save by 6 or more, the target is unaffected.

This way, the method to make it hard for legendary bosses to be stunlocked and killed to death, but still allow for effects other than HP damage to resolve the conflict, could be to give it an ability like "3/day: If this creature fails it's save, treat it as if it had barely passed", instead of 5e's "3/day: If this creature fails it's save, it instead passes".

Velaryon
2019-09-13, 08:41 PM
The main thing I want WotC to do with 6e is wait until at least 2025 (or better yet, 2030) before even seriously discussing it. 5e isn't perfect, but it delivers a D&D-like experience well enough, brings in tons of people who didn't used to play, and doesn't have any glaring problems big enough to require reinventing the wheel to fix.

Rhedyn
2019-09-13, 09:30 PM
The main thing I want WotC to do with 6e is wait until at least 2025 (or better yet, 2030) before even seriously discussing it. 5e isn't perfect, but it delivers a D&D-like experience well enough, brings in tons of people who didn't used to play, and doesn't have any glaring problems big enough to require reinventing the wheel to fix.
Could Monopoly be better? Sure. Will Hasbro clear another edition? No.

If WotC doesn't do an edition change at the 10 year mark, then I wouldn't expect another one.

Pleh
2019-09-14, 08:51 AM
Could Monopoly be better? Sure. Will Hasbro clear another edition? No.

If WotC doesn't do an edition change at the 10 year mark, then I wouldn't expect another one.

Worth remembering College Textbook effect. There is motive to publish new editions as it boosts sales. It's not the only factor to consider, but it's a powerful one. I would be very surprised if we never get a 6e.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-14, 10:12 AM
Worth remembering College Textbook effect. There is motive to publish new editions as it boosts sales. It's not the only factor to consider, but it's a powerful one. I would be very surprised if we never get a 6e.

Sure, but I don't own Digital Logic Techniques: Star Wars Edition. Also sometimes authors of textbooks cab be loathe to write a new edition, my digital logic lecturer refused to until they agreed to pay him.

Rhedyn
2019-09-14, 02:20 PM
Worth remembering College Textbook effect. There is motive to publish new editions as it boosts sales. It's not the only factor to consider, but it's a powerful one. I would be very surprised if we never get a 6e.
College Textbooks only make money through corruption and scams now. That industry should be dead since no one wants to buy their crap.

Pleh
2019-09-14, 02:54 PM
College Textbooks only make money through corruption and scams now. That industry should be dead since no one wants to buy their crap.

True, but it doesn't change the essential principle at work.

Rhedyn
2019-09-14, 03:23 PM
True, but it doesn't change the essential principle at work.
Kind of does. If an edition isn't needed people get made if it changes.

Pleh
2019-09-14, 11:12 PM
Kind of does. If an edition isn't needed people get made if it changes.

No, that's just adding a different principle into play.

Principle 1) publishing new editions revitalizes their profits, encouraging them to do it.

Principle 2) people dislike the practice, discouraging them from doing it.

They are still feeling the incentive to publish new editions for the profits. They just now have to balance it against consumer displeasure. My point is that the incentive doesn't magically vanish. It's a matter of at what point do they think they could get away with publishing a new edition.

The only difference for textbook publishers is that those publishers have a captive audience, a third principle coming into play.

Rhedyn
2019-09-15, 09:13 AM
No, that's just adding a different principle into play.

Principle 1) publishing new editions revitalizes their profits, encouraging them to do it.

Principle 2) people dislike the practice, discouraging them from doing it.

They are still feeling the incentive to publish new editions for the profits. They just now have to balance it against consumer displeasure. My point is that the incentive doesn't magically vanish. It's a matter of at what point do they think they could get away with publishing a new edition.

The only difference for textbook publishers is that those publishers have a captive audience, a third principle coming into play.
You aren't looking at long term cost of new editions, they make your product worth less over time.

Like if new D&D editions came out every year, who would buy them? How would you even talk about it online?

It's also a bad idea to look at the results of other companies in the RPG hobby. Every WotC D&D Edition has been a different game and compared to 5e every other RPG combined is a very small niche. Other companies in the hobby see a surge in profits with a new edition because there is a good chance most of the buyers had never heard of the game before. Some groups do Kickstarters not for the money but to promote their game.

Pleh
2019-09-15, 11:34 AM
You aren't looking at long term cost of new editions, they make your product worth less over time.

Like if new D&D editions came out every year, who would buy them? How would you even talk about it online?

Dude, it just adds another principle. #4, you saturate the market moving too quickly. It doesn't negate the fact that publishing companies are motivated by profit and new editions are a way to do that. Everything you are talking about only slow the inevitable progression towards publishing a new edition.

By the same vein of thought, you always want to update over the years as the product gets stale and outdated, especially when your competitors are publishing content after you.

There will never be a point at which there isn't incentive for publishers to republish popular content. You're right that there are other things to consider, but they only change the timeline, not the end result.

Did you notice we have no real trouble talking about previous editions on this forum? How much has the property lost valie over new editions? The worst step was 4e, but that sold well enough. It was mostly a PR misstep.

Dienekes
2019-09-15, 11:36 AM
You aren't looking at long term cost of new editions, they make your product worth less over time.

Like if new D&D editions came out every year, who would buy them? How would you even talk about it online?

It's also a bad idea to look at the results of other companies in the RPG hobby. Every WotC D&D Edition has been a different game and compared to 5e every other RPG combined is a very small niche. Other companies in the hobby see a surge in profits with a new edition because there is a good chance most of the buyers had never heard of the game before. Some groups do Kickstarters not for the money but to promote their game.

They can also revitalize the product to make it viable in existing markets. Never updating the product for a conceptual entertainment one, such as D&D runs the risk of the game dying completely. For every Monopoly or Chess there are hundreds of John Bulls and Hell, Chess went through a ton of updates and “editions” before we got the Chess we have today.

Anyway, were I to get my dream 6e.

I’d have the mechanics for mundane combat as varied, fleshed out, and impactful as magic. With options for people who want to just say “I cast fireball.” Or “I power attack” every round. Because otherwise they’d likely complain.

Rhedyn
2019-09-15, 11:55 AM
They can also revitalize the product to make it viable in existing markets. Never updating the product for a conceptual entertainment one, such as D&D runs the risk of the game dying completely. For every Monopoly or Chess there are hundreds of John Bulls and Hell, Chess went through a ton of updates and “editions” before we got the Chess we have today.

Anyway, were I to get my dream 6e.

I’d have the mechanics for mundane combat as varied, fleshed out, and impactful as magic. With options for people who want to just say “I cast fireball.” Or “I power attack” every round. Because otherwise they’d likely complain. There no is "RPG market". D&D is a moderately popular tabletop game that would gain very little by making a new edition.

It's business model is just like Monopoly or Chess, wait until people need to buy their first set or a replacement.

Pleh
2019-09-15, 01:49 PM
There no is "RPG market". D&D is a moderately popular tabletop game that would gain very little by making a new edition.

It's business model is just like Monopoly or Chess, wait until people need to buy their first set or a replacement.

I think the success of their past several editions begs to differ.

Rhedyn
2019-09-15, 02:27 PM
I think the success of their past several editions begs to differ.
4e nearly killed the product line and 2e did end up killing that company (at least partially).

Dienekes
2019-09-15, 02:33 PM
4e nearly killed the product line and 2e did end up killing that company (at least partially).

And Advanced, 3e, and 5e all spread the popularity far higher than the previous editions.

What I’m getting from that is that edition cycles should be twice as long, not never ending.

Pleh
2019-09-15, 03:12 PM
4e nearly killed the product line and 2e did end up killing that company (at least partially).

4e didn't come close to killing the product line. Just the one edition. They went back to the drawing board and knocked it out of the park. Just a misstep, not a step back, much less a total loss.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-15, 06:38 PM
4e didn't come close to killing the product line. Just the one edition. They went back to the drawing board and knocked it out of the park. Just a misstep, not a step back, much less a total loss.

Yeah, 4e caused a leakage of players due to a not overly popular design direction and a lack of time for playtesting, but it went nowhere near killing the line. There's many of us who consider 4e the better designed game compared to 5e*, but there's not deny that 5e is more popular due to 'feeling like D&D', whatever that means. But 4e was a massive change that decided to re-evaluate the core assumptions of D&D, which was something that was needed after 3.X lost focus and sometimes felt like it was introducing a new subsystem in every book, but im doing so it changed a lot of things and people didn't like it.

In fact, my main annoyance with 5e is that every time it seemed like the designers were going back to basics, and dialing back so that they could smoothly build it back up later peopl cried out that it wasn't like 3.X, and they put the complexity back in. Remember how subclasses originally were about going back to the Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard setup and then customising it? Because that was how they were originally presented, but moaning caused the classes to go back to the 3.X spread.

So yeah, I've decided exactly what I want for 4e. I want Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. I want Fighters, Clerics, Mages, and Thieves. And I want very little else, I want D&D to go back and find it's core before it adds in seven different spellcasting classes. The Paladin, Ranger, and everything else can come back in supplements.

Until then I'll stick with Low Fantasy Gaming. It might not be perfect, but I at least feel like it's classes are equally broad. It might be nine classes, but I don't feel like there's any of the stupid Cleric/Druid/Warlock overlap.

* Notably they have incredibly similar 'skill systems', but I find 4e's less annoying because it's open about it's combat focus.

Quertus
2019-09-15, 07:52 PM
In fact, my main annoyance with 5e is that every time it seemed like the designers were going back to basics, and dialing back so that they could smoothly build it back up later peopl cried out that it wasn't like 3.X, and they put the complexity back in. Remember how subclasses originally were about going back to the Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard setup and then customising it? Because that was how they were originally presented, but moaning caused the classes to go back to the 3.X spread.

So yeah, I've decided exactly what I want for 4e. I want Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. I want Fighters, Clerics, Mages, and Thieves. And I want very little else, I want D&D to go back and find it's core before it adds in seven different spellcasting classes. The Paladin, Ranger, and everything else can come back in supplements.

Until then I'll stick with Low Fantasy Gaming. It might not be perfect, but I at least feel like it's classes are equally broad. It might be nine classes, but I don't feel like there's any of the stupid Cleric/Druid/Warlock overlap.

So, I'm not understanding the nature of your complaint. How is less more? It sounds like you're saying you'd rather just have Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, rather than adding additional options. Those other options make some people happy; what is to be gained by removing such lateral versatility?

Like, imagine if all you had was Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, and "dwarf" was an option on "Fighter" (that shows up in some random splat book). That wouldn't feel the same as having different races built into the system, would it?

Rhedyn
2019-09-15, 08:20 PM
So, I'm not understanding the nature of your complaint. How is less more? It sounds like you're saying you'd rather just have Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, rather than adding additional options. Those other options make some people happy; what is to be gained by removing such lateral versatility?

Like, imagine if all you had was Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, and "dwarf" was an option on "Fighter" (that shows up in some random splat book). That wouldn't feel the same as having different races built into the system, would it?
He's complaining about the compromised nature of 5e. He wanted a back to basics core with the rest added later.

What he neglected to realize is that isn't what Hasbro wanted. They wanted an evergreen edition where the vast majority of revenue came from the core books while maybe releasing some splat books for enthusiasts later if they thought that would make money. And Hasbro big-wig corporate idea turned out to make tons of money. I imagine the 5e splat books sell a tad better than 4e/3e books, but the drop off has to be a crazy amount or they would be churning out more books. 5e just isn't going to cater to people that need at least 10+ RPG books a year.

Knaight
2019-09-16, 12:45 AM
The only difference for textbook publishers is that those publishers have a captive audience, a third principle coming into play.

That's a pretty critical difference though - I can't just say "no, screw you" when my professor tells me I need a fancy expensive textbook for Polymer Chemistry*. I absolutely can when WotC or Paizo release a new edition hot on the heels of a previous one.

*PDF textbook piracy aside, and that is a real concern.

Psyren
2019-09-16, 02:07 AM
Worth remembering College Textbook effect. There is motive to publish new editions as it boosts sales. It's not the only factor to consider, but it's a powerful one. I would be very surprised if we never get a 6e.

I think we're much more likely to first get some kind of 5.5/Essentials-style spinoff first, assuming they don't go with my genre-branching-out idea.



4e nearly killed the product line and 2e did end up killing that company (at least partially).

4e didn't come close to killing the product line. Just the one edition. They went back to the drawing board and knocked it out of the park. Just a misstep, not a step back, much less a total loss.

Pleh is right; even when 4th knocked D&D out of the top spot for the first time, from 2011-2014 or so, it was still the #2 TTRPG in the world behind Pathfinder. A drastic change was needed, sure, but it was very far from dying.

Elysiume
2019-09-16, 03:07 AM
Oh, and I forgot to mention: do something to remove the pass/fail or affected/immune state of things. For instance, hold person could do something like the following:
- If the target fails their save by 6 or more, the target is paralyzed.
- If the target fails their save by up to 5, the target is stunned.
- If the target passes their save by 0 - 5, the target is restrained.
- If the target passes their save by 6 or more, the target is unaffected.

This way, the method to make it hard for legendary bosses to be stunlocked and killed to death, but still allow for effects other than HP damage to resolve the conflict, could be to give it an ability like "3/day: If this creature fails it's save, treat it as if it had barely passed", instead of 5e's "3/day: If this creature fails it's save, it instead passes".Pathfinder 2e has success levels and I like the look of it a lot. Critical success/failure is determined by being 10 over/under the DC, with a nat 20 or 1 respectively raising or lowering your success tier by one. So if the DC is 25, your mod is +7, and you roll a 19 (total 26), you pass. If you roll a 20 (total 27), you still didn't beat it by 10, but your success is upgraded to a critical success. If you roll a 10 (total 17) you fail, and if you roll a 4 (total 11), you critically fail.

In 2e, you have Color Spray:

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature is dazzled for 1 round.
Failure The creature is stunned 1, blinded for 1 round, and dazzled for 1 minute.
Critical Failure The creature is stunned for 1 round and blinded for 1 minute.


And Sleep:

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature takes a –1 status penalty to Perception checks for 1 round.
Failure The creature falls unconscious. If it's still unconscious after 1 minute, it wakes up automatically.
Critical Failure The creature falls unconscious. If it's still unconscious after 1 hour, it wakes up automatically.

Telok
2019-09-16, 04:01 AM
Re: What I hope they do for 6e DnD

What I've decided I want: Intellectual honesty, not passing the buck, and keeping promises.

If whoever works on 6e can't or won't produce a decent set of rules that is clear, reasonable, and not subject to years of debate and/or ridicule, then they need to admit it. State what things that the game can and should do, and what it actually does well, so that the customers know what to expect.

Own up to the failings of the rules/adventures and explicitly inform the customers about what they'll need to do to make the product work. Don't sell something as swashbuckling adventure and intrigue where half the time a character attempts a classic swashbuckling stunt the system ends it in an ignominious face-plant.

If there's a promise to release modular and additional rules or to accommodate games styles other than 'five people beat up monsters in a dungeon' then that needs to happen in a timely and dependable manner. We're 40 years into the RPG hobby, you can have optional and advanced combat mechanics that go beyond 'Flanking: Y/N?' without scaring away the customer base, and you can probably develop it in less than six years too. Ditto for aerial combats, or naval combats, or mass combat, or extra-planar exploration, or more than a single type of magic system, or...

AD&D was a mass of optional rules that went insane if you tried to include and use everything at once but worked fine if you kept it focused on what you wanted it to do. 3.x shovelled out tons of content and left the players to dig through it to find the good bits, and suffered from developer preconceptions about how to play the game that weren't part of the rules. 4e actually mostly held up its promises, eventually, even if it wasn't really what most people apparently wanted from D&D.

I can hope.

noob
2019-09-16, 06:58 AM
I feel like there's a lot of ground between "D&D stays exactly as it is" and "D&D becomes a GURPS clone". Whatever 'GURPS clone' is even supposed to mean; I get the impression GURPS is mostly thrown around as a generic bad thing, or at least one D&D shouldn't become. In practice, of course, D&D will stay exactly as it is even if there's a sixth edition in a few years' time. But there's nothing wrong with speculating about what could be.

The reason why turning dnd in gurps is bad is not that gurps is bad: it is rather that if you could have the choice between an apple pie and a pizza there is more variety and higher odds find what you want you than if you have to choose between the previous pizza and an identical pizza.
Essentially: clones adds less interest than new games (except if the clone is better than the original but it is unlikely that wotc would make a better gurps than whoever did gurps before)

Pleh
2019-09-16, 07:11 AM
That's a pretty critical difference though - I can't just say "no, screw you" when my professor tells me I need a fancy expensive textbook for Polymer Chemistry*. I absolutely can when WotC or Paizo release a new edition hot on the heels of a previous one.

*PDF textbook piracy aside, and that is a real concern.

Sure, but the important bit is that it doesn't negate the publisher's incentive to try. The fact that you can refuse to buy any further editions does not mean the marker at large will follow suit. And honestly, they only care about how the market will trend, not how individual consumers like you and I will.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-16, 08:15 AM
Pathfinder 2e has success levels and I like the look of it a lot. Critical success/failure is determined by being 10 over/under the DC, with a nat 20 or 1 respectively raising or lowering your success tier by one. So if the DC is 25, your mod is +7, and you roll a 19 (total 26), you pass. If you roll a 20 (total 27), you still didn't beat it by 10, but your success is upgraded to a critical success. If you roll a 10 (total 17) you fail, and if you roll a 4 (total 11), you critically fail.

In 2e, you have Color Spray:

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature is dazzled for 1 round.
Failure The creature is stunned 1, blinded for 1 round, and dazzled for 1 minute.
Critical Failure The creature is stunned for 1 round and blinded for 1 minute.


And Sleep:

Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success The creature takes a –1 status penalty to Perception checks for 1 round.
Failure The creature falls unconscious. If it's still unconscious after 1 minute, it wakes up automatically.
Critical Failure The creature falls unconscious. If it's still unconscious after 1 hour, it wakes up automatically.



Degrees of success would be a huge help to D&D, which has way too much "pass-fail".

Willie the Duck
2019-09-16, 09:43 AM
Degrees of success would be a huge help to D&D, which has way too much "pass-fail".

Plus the occasional 'fail by four or more on your climb check and...,' which tends to work poorly (at least when done on a individual basis). So I'll be interested to hear how it works for PF 2e.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-16, 10:57 AM
So, I'm not understanding the nature of your complaint. How is less more? It sounds like you're saying you'd rather just have Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, rather than adding additional options. Those other options make some people happy; what is to be gained by removing such lateral versatility?

Simplicity, thematic consistency, broader individual classes...


Then you have the 4e problem, which admittedly 5e solves by not releasing any new content. But put simply, the more options you have the harder it is to balance them all. Now you could go the In Nomine route of not being too concerned with balance, but people keep telling me that the big strength of class-based games is them being more balanced.

But at the end of the day, I'm more likely to run BD&D than 5e, because I prefer how it fits together. And that's fine, I don't need 5e and can make do with just the Rules Cyclopedia.


Like, imagine if all you had was Cleric/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, and "dwarf" was an option on "Fighter" (that shows up in some random splat book). That wouldn't feel the same as having different races built into the system, would it?

Sounds like a great thing actually (although if you read my post I wasn't arguing against a race/class split. On the other hand, elf is totally a class). Clearly we have decided that your character's class, or broad archetype, takes precedence over their race. No it wouldn't feel the same, just like Basic D&D's Dwarf feels different to AD&D1e's Dwarf.

But let's take this example, where such things as dwarves and elves are variants of the classes and are introduced in splatbooks. They could be put in with thematically relevant books, such as one on underground complexes and one on forests, or we could have them in a book dedicated to races, or make a 'player's handbook 2' specifically for a wide variety of player options.


He's complaining about the compromised nature of 5e. He wanted a back to basics core with the rest added later.

What he neglected to realize is that isn't what Hasbro wanted. They wanted an evergreen edition where the vast majority of revenue came from the core books while maybe releasing some splat books for enthusiasts later if they thought that would make money. And Hasbro big-wig corporate idea turned out to make tons of money. I imagine the 5e splat books sell a tad better than 4e/3e books, but the drop off has to be a crazy amount or they would be churning out more books. 5e just isn't going to cater to people that need at least 10+ RPG books a year.

Yep, in my opinion the core rulebook had too many options when this new-fangled AD&D thing came out.

Although in all seriousness, I wouldn't have minded if they'd gone for a more 2e setup, where you take the Warrior class and pick the Paladin subclass. Which is what was originally promised. But apparently that wasn't enough like 3.X for people.

I also get that Hasbro wanted to focus more on core than supplements, and that's fine. Although I'd argue they're still incredibly slow, and I'm nostalgic for when Dungeon would give you new adventures every month (some stand alone, some as full campaigns, it was amazing!). But D&D now feels more like a Live Service where the product is being part of the Adventurer's League, rather than the product being contentas it is for most games. My problem is much more the areas I'd like to see getting support (more out there and original settings) not really doing so, although I guess I should pick up the Ravnica book.

I'd actually like to know what the designers think is important to D&D. If it's archetype emulation I wouldn't mind the wide variety of classes if they narrowed the Fighter and Rogue somewhat, but if it's say character emulation I'd much rather they focused their efforts on something that isn't 13 classes. In all honesty if, as I expect, the designers and fanbase at large consider class to be the defining character element I'd much rather see subraces and Feats removed from the game so more attention could be focused on them

Then again, I suspect that D&D should also change the 'standard' set of classes, probably to Bard/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, due to the fact that I'm the only person I know who has ever chosen to play the Cleric (although I know people who have resigned themselves to it). In fact the most common class picks in my experience are Druid and Rogue, with Fighter and Barbarian following and the Cleric and Wizard at the bottom of the pile. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I want to go back to basics, and I want archetypes to be stronger. I don't care about the Paladin of the Ancients, I'm not sure what archetype it's meant to represent, but both Devotion and Vengence are clear archetypes that look fun. They'd make great subclasses for a Fighter.

EDIT: at the same time, I should point out that I don't actually want 6e. I can serve my desires by simply running BD&D, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or Basic Fantasy with a handful of houserules, or by just ruunning a GURPS or TDE game. I'm just trying to explain why 5e disappointed me.

Rhedyn
2019-09-16, 11:15 AM
EDIT: at the same time, I should point out that I don't actually want 6e. I can serve my desires by simply running BD&D, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or Basic Fantasy with a handful of houserules, or by just ruunning a GURPS or TDE game. I'm just trying to explain why 5e disappointed me.
And you probably bought the 5e core books right? You being disappointed only cuts into their revenue because you are not likely to buy replacement books (but I imagine that very few people do that anyways).

Most ttRPG players only play RPGs for a small portion of their life and then never touch them again. That is the target audience and 5e only needs enough content for those people.

Elves
2019-09-17, 10:43 AM
He's complaining about the compromised nature of 5e. He wanted a back to basics core with the rest added later.

What he neglected to realize is that isn't what Hasbro wanted. They wanted an evergreen edition where the vast majority of revenue came from the core books while maybe releasing some splat books for enthusiasts later if they thought that would make money. And Hasbro big-wig corporate idea turned out to make tons of money.

We all know what the economic strategy with 5e is and that it's been profitable for them. But equating their profit with the good of the consumer is bizarre, especially in an "ought" thread that's about what consumers want. If you don't think Hasbro will ever make another edition, that's one thing, but if you think there shouldn't ever be another edition, find a better argument than Hasbro's margin.



There's many of us who consider 4e the better designed game compared to 5e, but there's not deny that 5e is more popular due to 'feeling like D&D', whatever that means.

I respect 4e for one thing in particular: it's the only WOTC edition that's fun when played in exactly the way the designers expected.

It also gets points for abandoning Vancian magic, which would definitely be a requirement for 6e. 4e and 5e were both designed as reactions against previous editions, so hopefully this trend continues and 6e actually has some kind of vision for the future, instead of 5e's "Neu-AD&D forever".

Rhedyn
2019-09-17, 11:41 AM
We all know what the economic strategy with 5e is and that it's been profitable for them. But equating their profit with the good of the consumer is bizarre, especially in an "ought" thread that's about what consumers want. If you don't think Hasbro will ever make another edition, that's one thing, but if you think there shouldn't ever be another edition, find a better argument than Hasbro's margin.




I respect 4e for one thing in particular: it's the only WOTC edition that's fun when played in exactly the way the designers expected.

It also gets points for abandoning Vancian magic, which would definitely be a requirement for 6e. 4e and 5e were both designed as reactions against previous editions, so hopefully this trend continues and 6e actually has some kind of vision for the future, instead of 5e's "Neu-AD&D forever".I imagine that an actual 6e will be backwards compatible with 5e content. Notice how most of the splat books are setting specific?

So the fundamentals are not going to change. We will have vancian magic, but maybe sorcerer can go more the way of warlock with plenty of short rest (15 minutes rather than an hour) spell slots while the warlock moves more towards invocations/rituals. Maybe the skill system will replace the d20 with a more bell curved 3d6 system, or maybe they do away with skills completely and have everyone roll under attributes for skills with background/class features giving advantage on some rolls. I imagine that magic items and monsters would get a heavy rework. Fighter would get a facelift while ranger would get overhauled, paladin toned down, and the MORE damage math feats removed. Etc.

We will see in 2024 if a new edition happens. If it does not happen by then, I doubt it ever will (though I imagine at least errata will go into printings)

Knaight
2019-09-18, 12:29 AM
Degrees of success would be a huge help to D&D, which has way too much "pass-fail".

It extends out pretty easily from Advantage/Disadvantage too - if the standard is to roll 2 dice and check them individually you at least get a full success, full failure, partial success really easily. That's especially useful in the Save or Die and Save or Suck space, where a partial success is still worth something but a full success really hurts, while also being unlikely but not impossible when used against resistant targets.

Morgana
2019-09-18, 02:20 AM
I think short rest as used in 5e is a terrible idea, cause it assumes way too much when in actuality in a majority of campaings if you can take a 4 hours rest you can probably afford an 8 hours one. Like, it's just a very specific time frame when most times you're either on a ticking clock so you can't stop for hours, or you're in not that much of a hurry and can afford to rest up for 8 hours

Legendary resistances are also something that bore me, cause honestly they don't really add any interesting interaction and mostly just seem to make the fights longer as you use your bad spells in the hopes that the creature will burn it's resistances off, which just kinda takes 3 rounds of basically trying to force the creature to spend all it's get out of jail free cards

Elysiume
2019-09-18, 02:49 AM
I think short rest as used in 5e is a terrible idea, cause it assumes way too much when in actuality in a majority of campaings if you can take a 4 hours rest you can probably afford an 8 hours one. Like, it's just a very specific time frame when most times you're either on a ticking clock so you can't stop for hours, or you're in not that much of a hurry and can afford to rest up for 8 hoursA short rest is an hour, not four hours, which makes it a lot easier.

Legendary resistances are also something that bore me, cause honestly they don't really add any interesting interaction and mostly just seem to make the fights longer as you use your bad spells in the hopes that the creature will burn it's resistances off, which just kinda takes 3 rounds of basically trying to force the creature to spend all it's get out of jail free cardsAgreed on this count. Legendary resistances feel like a bad solution to the serious problems around SoS/SoD spells in 3.5.

Malphegor
2019-09-18, 04:12 AM
I want spells. One thing I like about 3e/3.5 is that it feels like, if a wizard has the gold and time, there is a ridiculous number of spells they can purchase or research (I BUILT THIS SPELL IN A CAVE WITH A BOX OF SCRAP PAPER!), each of which has its own unique niche and nuance.

Sometimes they're duplicates of existing spells but worded just differently to make it different. Or they're variants.

But it really helps being a wizard if there's a sea of possible moves you can do.

(I also feel all classes should pick up and research maneuvers in the same way which work like spells but are specialised techniques they use in combat. Make fighters wizards but they cast punch and slice rather than fireball!)

(that said I feel my vision for a 6e would probably end up as hated as 4e was)



I'd probably say that they'll increase their online stuff. This time they might even master online character sheets. Due to there being issues with roll20's management I doubt they'll absorb roll20, but they'll make their own competing system that syncs up with d&d beyond.

HOPEFULLY they don't have a pet podcast thing this time like Critical Role, because it kinda sucks that one professionally made realplay dnd podcast gets official featuring on the dnd website while there's billions of other ones that aren't so helped by the very visible source brand.

I can imagine them rebooting or redoing a D&D cartoon to hook the younger audiences now they're having an upswing again. Maybe even work off of nostalgia and redo the old one with less panty shots, annoying unicorns and stuff and make it better written!

Monk will continue to be useless.

They'll make bards as complicated to get into as possible as a nod to the old way, but end up making a bard archetype for sorcerer/rogue multiclasses.

Tieflings will continue to get more love than aasimar.

The Greyhawk setting will suddenly stop getting mentioned and they'll make the system HARD fixed into the Forgotten Realms.

They'll make a 3rd D&D MMO on top of DDO and Neverwinter, and this one will sync with your Adventure League character sheet and can only level up when approved by an AL DM.

Sha'ir will become a base class, replacing the cleric, cleric will be a splatbook base class in Bodak's Eye: The Book Of Divine Classes And How To Kill Them

Mystra will die again. It's honestly more surprising that she was alive again for a bit.

Magic will still be vancian, except you can sacrifice inspiration and advantage to refresh spell slots on a 1:1 ratio with 5 minutes preparation. Also gold.

Neraphim will be a core race, because everybody loves lawful frogmen from the chaos realms.

Morty
2019-09-18, 05:48 AM
It extends out pretty easily from Advantage/Disadvantage too - if the standard is to roll 2 dice and check them individually you at least get a full success, full failure, partial success really easily. That's especially useful in the Save or Die and Save or Suck space, where a partial success is still worth something but a full success really hurts, while also being unlikely but not impossible when used against resistant targets.

How would that work, though. The standard is to roll one die. Unless you mean expanding the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.

Rhedyn
2019-09-18, 06:39 AM
HOPEFULLY they don't have a pet podcast thing this time like Critical Role, because it kinda sucks that one professionally made realplay dnd podcast gets official featuring on the dnd website while there's billions of other ones that aren't so helped by the very visible source brand.
I heavily doubt that they are going to stop piling behind Critical Role.

I don't get why people watch others perform playing an RPG, but it's hella popular.

Pleh
2019-09-18, 07:05 AM
I think short rest as used in 5e is a terrible idea, cause it assumes way too much when in actuality in a majority of campaings if you can take a 4 hours rest you can probably afford an 8 hours one. Like, it's just a very specific time frame when most times you're either on a ticking clock so you can't stop for hours, or you're in not that much of a hurry and can afford to rest up for 8 hours

In addition to the point that short rests are only 1 hr, I've been toying with the idea of houseruling short rests to take 1 minute. That's how Jedi regained Force Powers in SWSE and I always felt like it worked pretty well for what I think they were going for with classes that rely on frequent short rests. 1 minute is enough time that they can reasonably take at any point as long as there aren't enemies literally marching towards them from around the corner. Every new encounter refreshes short rest abilities.


I don't get why people watch others perform playing an RPG, but it's hella popular.

People like to watch sports instead of play them. Sometimes you can enjoy watching a game well played more than taking the time to get good at it yourself.

Sometimes the best inspiration to try is to see someone else succeed.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-18, 08:56 AM
People like to watch sports instead of play them. Sometimes you can enjoy watching a game well played more than taking the time to get good at it yourself.

Sometimes the best inspiration to try is to see someone else succeed.


The problem with a lot (not all, but a lot) of the "podcast" and "youtube" and "twitch" RPG campaigns is that they feel less like watching sports, and more like watching pro wrestling. That is, one gets the sense that we're not watching people play a RPG, but rather watching people put on the performance of playing an RPG.


As for rests and such, I'd just get rid of "per encounter" and "per rest" and "per day" powers entirely. The whole structure makes a lot of assumptions about the sort of campaign, adventuring, and even "story" (ugh) that's being done, and doesn't fit much else. And it's a source of a lot of the balance and disconnect issues between the classes.

Rests would just be for recovery of hit points and a resource pool. The resource pool would power everything that was supposed to be limited in uses per unit time. It could be Class or "group of Classes" specific, but honestly I'd prefer it to be universal, so that multiclassing didn't cause a character to have a bunch of balkanized "pools".

Rhedyn
2019-09-18, 09:48 AM
People like to watch sports instead of play them. Sometimes you can enjoy watching a game well played more than taking the time to get good at it yourself.

Sometimes the best inspiration to try is to see someone else succeed.
Is this a bad time to point out that after watching some of it, I don't think it's "real". Like those aren't actual games. It's a show.

I know it's important for some people to maintain the illusion that it is a real game, but come on.

If you want some authentic D&D stories, go to YouTube and watch Puffin Forest. It's fun because you don't watch him actually play the game. He just tells stories about playing the game.

Pleh
2019-09-18, 12:41 PM
Is this a bad time to point out that after watching some of it, I don't think it's "real". Like those aren't actual games. It's a show.

I know it's important for some people to maintain the illusion that it is a real game, but come on.

If you want some authentic D&D stories, go to YouTube and watch Puffin Forest. It's fun because you don't watch him actually play the game. He just tells stories about playing the game.

Why do we make such a distinction between watching Puffin Forest (which I do) and watching Critical Role? Seems unnecessarily elitist to start gatekeeping how real our fantasy games need to be. Point is that people are inspired to play by both, so why is Critical Role more Badwrongfun?

oxybe
2019-09-18, 01:44 PM
I think it's largely a matter of production values.

Our TTRPG sessions are usually 5-6 guys sitting around the couches and coffee table of the FLGS, a box of Tim's doughnuts to one side, a battlemat with some rough outlines scrawled, random bits and bobs to indicate monsters and PCs, and a couple of game books being passed around. character sheets come in various forms, from finely crafted 3rd party download to "i tore out pages from a notebook, here is some chicken scrawls".

the "quality" of RP can, and will, vary wildly: from 1st person, in character with voice to "my dude checks out the house, do i see anything?"

Plus we occasionally talk over each other, read our game books or check our phones for not-game stuff when we're not on scene for a while.

I would like to think we're an average group, and it don't make for good YouTube content.

I wouldn't call what the CR people are doing the TTRPG equivalent of the WWE, but I'm certain that they are fully aware that there is a need to put on a show, and it influences their play.
‐---------------------
Puffin's recounting of his sessions is a different beast from Critical Role since it's in a more digestible format. a 12 minute story about the time the PCs did a thing with some visual aids is a lot easier for most gamers to absorb then multiple sessions in an ongoing story.

compare that to how I can consume a 12 episode anime in ~4 to 5 hours. which is usually one or two story arcs done to completion.

that's like... 1 -1.5 episodes of critical role's ongoing story.

It's a different format meant for similar but still different audiences.

Rhedyn
2019-09-18, 05:25 PM
Why do we make such a distinction between watching Puffin Forest (which I do) and watching Critical Role? Seems unnecessarily elitist to start gatekeeping how real our fantasy games need to be. Point is that people are inspired to play by both, so why is Critical Role more Badwrongfun?
It's not badwrongfun, but a lot people get their hackles up when you don't believe CR is a "real game". It's a show. They are acting for the audience.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-18, 05:52 PM
It's not badwrongfun, but a lot people get their hackles up when you don't believe CR is a "real game". It's a show. They are acting for the audience.

Yep, and fun to watch isn't always fun to play (which I suspect is the reason Titansgrave was clearly edited down quite a bit*). Really most of the badwrongfun comes from the small number of people who got into roleplaying via CR and expect all games to be like that, while a lot of other people don't get the fun of watching a game. Me, is rather play Ultima 1 than watch Critical Role, but people who like CR aren't wrong.

Now I'm back off to do more developing of my The Fantasy Trip/GURPS Fantasy setting.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-18, 05:57 PM
It's not badwrongfun, but a lot people get their hackles up when you don't believe CR is a "real game". It's a show. They are acting for the audience.

Which is kinda what I meant when I said it felt more like watching a performance of playing an RPG, rather than people playing an RPG.

Lord Raziere
2019-09-18, 06:07 PM
Which is kinda what I meant when I said it felt more like watching a performance of playing an RPG, rather than people playing an RPG.

....thats the weirdest complaint I've ever heard:

"oh its not a REAL fake fantasy story of heroes performed by 4-6 people, its a FAKE fake fantasy of heroes performed by 4-6 people, about a hobby thats all about putting on a performance of being another character, I find this problematic somehow."

like even if its true, I don't really know how one could possibly tell the difference between the real fake and fake fake, and even if it is true, isn't that just a demonstration of how great a roleplayer they are if they can roleplay a character while also roleplaying a person roleplaying a character for a show so they can make money off of what they love? thats like next level roleplaying there, thats not a problem, thats mastery to learn from.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-18, 06:25 PM
....thats the weirdest complaint I've ever heard:

"oh its not a REAL fake fantasy story of heroes performed by 4-6 people, its a FAKE fake fantasy of heroes performed by 4-6 people, about a hobby thats all about putting on a performance of being another character, I find this problematic somehow."

like even if its true, I don't really know how one could possibly tell the difference between the real fake and fake fake, and even if it is true, isn't that just a demonstration of how great a roleplayer they are if they can roleplay a character while also roleplaying a person roleplaying a character for a show so they can make money off of what they love? thats like next level roleplaying there, thats not a problem, thats mastery to learn from.

First, that assumes that all gaming is "story", and these forums have had that debate before. At best, it's a subjective preference.

Second, the "fake" in question is this -- when you sit down at the table, is that a genuine thing you're doing with the other people at the table, or are you putting on the act/show of "gaming"? Consider any other activity... are you just sitting down to eat a bowl of soup, or putting on the show of eating a bowl of soup? Are you reading a book, or putting on the show of reading a book? Are you gaming, or putting on the show of gaming?

Kraynic
2019-09-18, 06:27 PM
....thats the weirdest complaint I've ever heard:

"oh its not a REAL fake fantasy story of heroes performed by 4-6 people, its a FAKE fake fantasy of heroes performed by 4-6 people, about a hobby thats all about putting on a performance of being another character, I find this problematic somehow."

like even if its true, I don't really know how one could possibly tell the difference between the real fake and fake fake, and even if it is true, isn't that just a demonstration of how great a roleplayer they are if they can roleplay a character while also roleplaying a person roleplaying a character for a show so they can make money off of what they love? thats like next level roleplaying there, thats not a problem, thats mastery to learn from.

Matt Colville had an interesting video not long ago about a disconnect between the game, what players experience, and what an audience experiences viewing a game as entertainment. It is long, but pretty interesting (to me at least). If it interests anyone, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YCVHnItKuY&t=2s

Cluedrew
2019-09-18, 06:27 PM
I respect 4e for one thing in particular: it's the only WOTC edition that's fun when played in exactly the way the designers expected.

It also gets points for abandoning Vancian magic, which would definitely be a requirement for 6e. 4e and 5e were both designed as reactions against previous editions, so hopefully this trend continues and 6e actually has some kind of vision for the future, instead of 5e's "Neu-AD&D forever".I came back to this thread because some things came together and you are already talking about them. Actually the first part is kind of unrelated to the main idea, but I do believe that 4th was the best designed edition of D&D. The fact they seemed to designing the wrong thing - a game that was simultaneously not D&D and far too much D&D - is a separate issue.

The thing I want from 6th more than anything else: I want it to be different. 4th may have been too far and there is some value in a 3.5-lite. But really I don't want 5.5e. I want them to mix it up and make some significant change. Maybe they pull out some of the changes they were going to make but backed out of (given a buffer edition between 4th maybe that will help). Building off of what Elves said, maybe they overhaul spell casting or relegate Vancian magic to one or two magic users. Maybe they reduce how levels order your abilities. In a way it does matter what, as long as they try new ideas and some of them are good, that will get me more excited about 6th than just patching 5th.

Lord Raziere
2019-09-18, 06:35 PM
First, that assumes that all gaming is "story", and these forums have had that debate before. At best, it's a subjective preference.

Second, the "fake" in question is this -- when you sit down at the table, is that a genuine thing you're doing with the other people at the table, or are you putting on the act/show of "gaming"?

If its subjective, then its useless to discuss and therefore I won't.

Second, that is a question for sociology that has yet to be answered and the subtleties of which are so slight that there is no real answer. all of society is a performance on some level, with a script, a procedure and so on. we just call them etiquette and manners and culture instead. I'm an introvert and diagnosed with autism, so repeating even simple things like compliments more than once is a performance for me. I'm not truly sure and have to deal with the fact to me, most of everything society puts out doesn't seem to be genuine at all. if your better at telling whats genuine, good on you.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-18, 06:45 PM
If its subjective, then its useless to discuss and therefore I won't.

Second, that is a question for sociology that has yet to be answered and the subtleties of which are so slight that there is no real answer. all of society is a performance on some level, with a script, a procedure and so on. we just call them etiquette and manners and culture instead. I'm an introvert and diagnosed with autism, so repeating even simple things like compliments more than once is a performance for me. I'm not truly sure and have to deal with the fact to me, most of everything society puts out doesn't seem to be genuine at all. if your better at telling whats genuine, good on you.

I think you answered before I expounded above -- when you eat a bowl of soup, are you genuinely eating a bowl of soup, or are you putting on the performance of eating a bowl of soup?

Lord Raziere
2019-09-18, 06:52 PM
I think you answered before I expounded above -- when you eat a bowl of soup, are you genuinely eating a bowl of soup, or are you putting on the performance of eating a bowl of soup?

Whats the difference?

A performance of eating a bowl of soup can still actually eat the bowl of soup. a lot of little societies performances are to smooth out such things into a procedure that makes sense. is it any less real just because its artificial in its process? a lot of things we take for granted are artificial like that.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-18, 07:01 PM
Whats the difference?

A performance of eating a bowl of soup can still actually eat the bowl of soup. a lot of little societies performances are to smooth out such things into a procedure that makes sense. is it any less real just because its artificial in its process? a lot of things we take for granted are artificial like that.

We'll have to disagree -- personally I'm acutely aware of when I can just do something, and when I have to be aware of outside observation.

olskool
2019-09-18, 07:04 PM
Simplicity, thematic consistency, broader individual classes...


Then you have the 4e problem, which admittedly 5e solves by not releasing any new content. But put simply, the more options you have the harder it is to balance them all. Now you could go the In Nomine route of not being too concerned with balance, but people keep telling me that the big strength of class-based games is them being more balanced.

But at the end of the day, I'm more likely to run BD&D than 5e, because I prefer how it fits together. And that's fine, I don't need 5e and can make do with just the Rules Cyclopedia.



Sounds like a great thing actually (although if you read my post I wasn't arguing against a race/class split. On the other hand, elf is totally a class). Clearly we have decided that your character's class, or broad archetype, takes precedence over their race. No it wouldn't feel the same, just like Basic D&D's Dwarf feels different to AD&D1e's Dwarf.

But let's take this example, where such things as dwarves and elves are variants of the classes and are introduced in splatbooks. They could be put in with thematically relevant books, such as one on underground complexes and one on forests, or we could have them in a book dedicated to races, or make a 'player's handbook 2' specifically for a wide variety of player options.



Yep, in my opinion the core rulebook had too many options when this new-fangled AD&D thing came out.

Although in all seriousness, I wouldn't have minded if they'd gone for a more 2e setup, where you take the Warrior class and pick the Paladin subclass. Which is what was originally promised. But apparently that wasn't enough like 3.X for people.

I also get that Hasbro wanted to focus more on core than supplements, and that's fine. Although I'd argue they're still incredibly slow, and I'm nostalgic for when Dungeon would give you new adventures every month (some stand alone, some as full campaigns, it was amazing!). But D&D now feels more like a Live Service where the product is being part of the Adventurer's League, rather than the product being contentas it is for most games. My problem is much more the areas I'd like to see getting support (more out there and original settings) not really doing so, although I guess I should pick up the Ravnica book.

I'd actually like to know what the designers think is important to D&D. If it's archetype emulation I wouldn't mind the wide variety of classes if they narrowed the Fighter and Rogue somewhat, but if it's say character emulation I'd much rather they focused their efforts on something that isn't 13 classes. In all honesty if, as I expect, the designers and fanbase at large consider class to be the defining character element I'd much rather see subraces and Feats removed from the game so more attention could be focused on them

Then again, I suspect that D&D should also change the 'standard' set of classes, probably to Bard/Fighter/Rogue/Wizard, due to the fact that I'm the only person I know who has ever chosen to play the Cleric (although I know people who have resigned themselves to it). In fact the most common class picks in my experience are Druid and Rogue, with Fighter and Barbarian following and the Cleric and Wizard at the bottom of the pile. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I want to go back to basics, and I want archetypes to be stronger. I don't care about the Paladin of the Ancients, I'm not sure what archetype it's meant to represent, but both Devotion and Vengence are clear archetypes that look fun. They'd make great subclasses for a Fighter.

EDIT: at the same time, I should point out that I don't actually want 6e. I can serve my desires by simply running BD&D, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or Basic Fantasy with a handful of houserules, or by just ruunning a GURPS or TDE game. I'm just trying to explain why 5e disappointed me.

I wish this forum had a like button because I'd give you one. To me, 5e builds "superheroes" NOT "adventurers." I wish the classes were more distinct from each other WITHOUT having to add a bunch of FEATS to do it. The classes also don't seem very "balanced" to me. Why would anyone ever play a beginning character who wasn't a Bard or a Paladin? AD&D balanced these types of classes by requiring so many different high stats (STR, DEX, CON) that such a class would only show up once in a blue moon. In 5e, a good "min-maxer" can build a character that is virtually a "superhero" in the first tier of Leveling. It only gets worse as they level up (which is pretty easy in 5e).

All of the above being said, There are several good things about 5e.

I like the ADVANTAGE/DISADVANTAGE mechanic a lot.

I also think the Task System is pretty good. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Standard DC roll could be used for everything. I still don't understand why they didn't just make Saves part of the Proficiency/Ability roll system. That way they could vary the DC of certain Saves like making certain snake venoms either more difficult or easier than the standard DC of 10. Likewise, I could see having a spell caster using their INT bonus for Informational spells, their CHA bonus for Charm spells, and their WIS bonus for Protection spells. Many of the classes abilities like Wildshape and Bardic Inspiration could require a Proficiency Check to perform. This would add a bit of "uncertainty" to the use of class abilities.

I too would also like to see variable Success Levels giving variable effects. This could allow the addition of Special Effects like Disarm, Sunder Weapon, Overextend Opponent for fighters. That could make combat much more interesting.

As it stands now, I guess I'll be using my "modded" BF/5e chimera game until something better comes along.

Ignimortis
2019-09-18, 09:41 PM
I wish this forum had a like button because I'd give you one. To me, 5e builds "superheroes" NOT "adventurers." I wish the classes were more distinct from each other WITHOUT having to add a bunch of FEATS to do it. The classes also don't seem very "balanced" to me. Why would anyone ever play a beginning character who wasn't a Bard or a Paladin? AD&D balanced these types of classes by requiring so many different high stats (STR, DEX, CON) that such a class would only show up once in a blue moon. In 5e, a good "min-maxer" can build a character that is virtually a "superhero" in the first tier of Leveling. It only gets worse as they level up (which is pretty easy in 5e).


Superheroes? What? 5e is the least superhero-adjacent edition of D&D in 20 years. 3e and 4e both had a lot more superhero dynamics going on, especially in the later levels. 4e even had a dedicated "mook" mechanic that had severely outclassed old enemies (so goblins at level 10) die in one hit (even if it did 1 damage) because they were there to serve as fodder. 3e had level 15 characters be basically untouchable for level 5 characters or monsters. All of that doesn't work in 5e.

The only thing even remotely superheroic about 5e is that characters don't die easily if the DM isn't actually trying to kill them.

And people don't want to play Bard or Paladin because there are other good classes for those levels. Rogue or Wizard or Sorcerer are all viable alternatives for Bard (depending on what you want to do), and Barbarian with some effort might blow the Paladin out of the water for the first 5-8 levels. And most people don't roll for stats these days anyway, so stat requirements would just shoehorn how point buy should go for these classes.

AdAstra
2019-09-19, 01:26 AM
I have to agree with Ignimortis, and practically everything there makes very little sense, olskool. Like, 5e already has variable DCs for saves? I'm not sure where you got the idea that it doesn't. And Paladins have pretty lackluster progression in Tier 1 compared to say, Fighters or Rogues or the stronger Clerics (Tempest and War come to mind, though War trails off severely after Tier 1). Just about the only thing that even seems to have bearing on 5e is the desire for variable success/failure, which is indeed a good idea. There's even something like it with some poisons and other hazards, where failing by 5 or more causes a worse effect, so there's precedent for incorporating it further.

Mordaedil
2019-09-19, 01:41 AM
Is this a bad time to point out that after watching some of it, I don't think it's "real". Like those aren't actual games. It's a show.

I know it's important for some people to maintain the illusion that it is a real game, but come on.

If you want some authentic D&D stories, go to YouTube and watch Puffin Forest. It's fun because you don't watch him actually play the game. He just tells stories about playing the game.

God, the example you draw up while critiqing Critical Role is Puffin Forest, the most toxic D&D player? I mean, I can't deny that his stories are "authentic", but if you put yourself into the shoes of anyone else at the table of his stories, they are just stories from that guy at the table.

Now, I get that Critical Role isn't exactly everyones taste, but lmao. They've dealt with this "fake" image since ****ing day one, people insisting they have scripts at the table and that it is all planned in advance and ****.

Despite there being like behind the scenes stuff as well where the DM and players tell you exactly how they do the game. My biggest issue with CR is that they give people kind of the wrong idea of what a table will look like when not everyone at it is a famous voice-actor and they fail to set their expectations accordingly. But that is honestly even something Matt Mercer really hates about his own show.

noob
2019-09-19, 03:30 AM
I wish this forum had a like button because I'd give you one. To me, 5e builds "superheroes" NOT "adventurers." I wish the classes were more distinct from each other WITHOUT having to add a bunch of FEATS to do it. The classes also don't seem very "balanced" to me. Why would anyone ever play a beginning character who wasn't a Bard or a Paladin? AD&D balanced these types of classes by requiring so many different high stats (STR, DEX, CON) that such a class would only show up once in a blue moon. In 5e, a good "min-maxer" can build a character that is virtually a "superhero" in the first tier of Leveling. It only gets worse as they level up (which is pretty easy in 5e).

All of the above being said, There are several good things about 5e.

I like the ADVANTAGE/DISADVANTAGE mechanic a lot.

I also think the Task System is pretty good. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Standard DC roll could be used for everything. I still don't understand why they didn't just make Saves part of the Proficiency/Ability roll system. That way they could vary the DC of certain Saves like making certain snake venoms either more difficult or easier than the standard DC of 10. Likewise, I could see having a spell caster using their INT bonus for Informational spells, their CHA bonus for Charm spells, and their WIS bonus for Protection spells. Many of the classes abilities like Wildshape and Bardic Inspiration could require a Proficiency Check to perform. This would add a bit of "uncertainty" to the use of class abilities.

I too would also like to see variable Success Levels giving variable effects. This could allow the addition of Special Effects like Disarm, Sunder Weapon, Overextend Opponent for fighters. That could make combat much more interesting.

As it stands now, I guess I'll be using my "modded" BF/5e chimera game until something better comes along.
Why did you play dnd at all?
Dnd after 3e is quite based on having superheroes that can fight giant monsters.
If you remove the giant monster fighting superheroes part of dnd then maybe you should have played another rpg that was not dnd: there is a lot of rpgs that are not about superheroes that fights giant monsters and works in ways that leaves more freedom while not being ambiguous or rule heavy(each edition of dnd is full of rules that are ambiguous although the earlier editions(basic and maybe dnd 2) had a bit less rules).
And if you like rule heavy stuff I did hear gurps was very modular and can allow to manage non superheroic people in a medieval era.

Anonymouswizard
2019-09-19, 06:06 AM
Now, I get that Critical Role isn't exactly everyones taste, but lmao. They've dealt with this "fake" image since ****ing day one, people insisting they have scripts at the table and that it is all planned in advance and ****.

Despite there being like behind the scenes stuff as well where the DM and players tell you exactly how they do the game. My biggest issue with CR is that they give people kind of the wrong idea of what a table will look like when not everyone at it is a famous voice-actor and they fail to set their expectations accordingly. But that is honestly even something Matt Mercer really hates about his own show.

It's quite clearly 'scripted' and on rails, but not to the point people claim. MM clearly has a scripted adventure plan which features a bunch of 'stations'/encounters which link to each other in various ways, but the group has a say in which trains they get on and it's closer to 'quantum ogreing' than a classic railroad. There's a gentlemen's agreement that the party won't try to sail to the other side of the world and will follow the plot hooks.

In short it's a fairly standard setup, made a little bit more extreme to ensure that the audience sees a good amount of entertaining stuff and a more definite structure of highs and lows.


Why did you play dnd at all?
Dnd after 3e is quite based on having superheroes that can fight giant monsters.
If you remove the giant monster fighting superheroes part of dnd then maybe you should have played another rpg that was not dnd: there is a lot of rpgs that are not about superheroes that fights giant monsters and works in ways that leaves more freedom while not being ambiguous or rule heavy(each edition of dnd is full of rules that are ambiguous although the earlier editions(basic and maybe dnd 2) had a bit less rules).
And if you like rule heavy stuff I did hear gurps was very modular and can allow to manage non superheroic people in a medieval era.

Yeah, essentially this. Which is why E6 became fairly popular, it cut out the superhero levels.

Ignimortis
2019-09-19, 06:33 AM
Yeah, essentially this. Which is why E6 became fairly popular, it cut out the superhero levels.

And also part of why 5e is popular, it seems. I hate to repeat things said a thousand times before, but 5e at times feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels. The only claim to superheroes it has left is the HP growth, and if that was reduced back to 2e principles of "you get proper HP during levels 1-10 and then at best a few points per level if any", it'd be back there again even at high levels.

I don't understand it and don't want this trend to continue, TBH. Double-digit levels should actually be closer to superheroes, anime or wuxia. A level 20 character should probably be somewhere around Exalted level, instead of "still the same Fighter, but with a slab of HP, four attacks and good equipment".

Willie the Duck
2019-09-19, 06:55 AM
It's not badwrongfun, but a lot people get their hackles up when you don't believe CR is a "real game". It's a show. They are acting for the audience.

Honestly, the only person I know with a dog in that fight is Pundey, who is die-hard vitriolic in the other direction.

Rhedyn
2019-09-19, 07:35 AM
God, the example you draw up while critiqing Critical Role is Puffin Forest, the most toxic D&D player? I mean, I can't deny that his stories are "authentic", but if you put yourself into the shoes of anyone else at the table of his stories, they are just stories from that guy at the table.

Now, I get that Critical Role isn't exactly everyones taste, but lmao. They've dealt with this "fake" image since ****ing day one, people insisting they have scripts at the table and that it is all planned in advance and ****.

Despite there being like behind the scenes stuff as well where the DM and players tell you exactly how they do the game. My biggest issue with CR is that they give people kind of the wrong idea of what a table will look like when not everyone at it is a famous voice-actor and they fail to set their expectations accordingly. But that is honestly even something Matt Mercer really hates about his own show.

What gets me is when people think CR is "professional D&D" and if the players/DM are good enough that it will be just like that.

No guys. It's a show. An actual table will never be like that. I've seen GMs try to mimic CR and they tank their campaigns because Matt Mercer's **** isn't that fun to actually play.

Oh and I agree that Puffin's stories are mostly about how he is a terrible GM/player and that's the authentic part. We've all had sessions like that, few of us decided to animate the experience and tell everyone about it.

Edit: This isn't a complete tangent because I think CR will influence a potential 6e. They'll try to design the game so that it plays more like what you watch. And that's why 6e will do poorly.

Morty
2019-09-19, 08:28 AM
And also part of why 5e is popular, it seems. I hate to repeat things said a thousand times before, but 5e at times feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels. The only claim to superheroes it has left is the HP growth, and if that was reduced back to 2e principles of "you get proper HP during levels 1-10 and then at best a few points per level if any", it'd be back there again even at high levels.

I don't understand it and don't want this trend to continue, TBH. Double-digit levels should actually be closer to superheroes, anime or wuxia. A level 20 character should probably be somewhere around Exalted level, instead of "still the same Fighter, but with a slab of HP, four attacks and good equipment".

3E's (and to a lesser degree 4E's) power curve might have been more of an anomaly than anything else. Neither edition knew what to do with it, certainly, though 4E at least tried. 3E scales very poorly from "mostly-realistic hero" to "low-key superhero" and then beyond. Many of the balance problems come from it.

To say nothing of the conceptual problems with your character going through completely different genres of fiction just by beating up progressively tougher enemies. There's a reason that other high-powered games, such as Exalted, generally pick a power level and stick with it.

Rhedyn
2019-09-19, 09:21 AM
5e PCs are stronger than 3e PCs for the system. Most GMs aren't going to run 6-8 Encounters per long rest so 5e PCs function like super heroes. The system basically has 4 good levels, gets bonkers at 7, and is all but unplayable after level 10.

People have had success by making custom monsters or using 3rd bestiaries. That helps patch the fundamental problems with the system, but just because a 5e fighter may never find 100 orcs a non-threat doesn't mean high level 5e fighters are relatively super heroes.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-19, 09:22 AM
The power curve, and the resulting "progression" through a series of different "genres", has always been one of my peeves about D&D. It's like Joseph Campbell on crack. Having to start out a minnow and ending up Leviathan is not really interesting to me. If I'm setting out to play Leviathan, then just give me a system and a balance point that lets me do that. It's telling that so much build advice for any addition from 3e forward seems to consist of "and then when you get to level X..."

But that's not something that's ever going to change about D&D in any edition ever.

~~~~

5e seems to be so based on a specific set of assumptions about encounter rate and difficulty, vs short and long rest rates, that it gets really wobbly once you leave those bounds. The whole idea of "per X" abilities that reset on rests probably just needs to go.

Ignimortis
2019-09-19, 10:16 AM
3E's (and to a lesser degree 4E's) power curve might have been more of an anomaly than anything else. Neither edition knew what to do with it, certainly, though 4E at least tried. 3E scales very poorly from "mostly-realistic hero" to "low-key superhero" and then beyond. Many of the balance problems come from it.

To say nothing of the conceptual problems with your character going through completely different genres of fiction just by beating up progressively tougher enemies. There's a reason that other high-powered games, such as Exalted, generally pick a power level and stick with it.

Then 6e needs to get rid of spells, say, higher than level 5 or 6. It doesn't mesh in any way to have Wish Wizards and Same Ole Fighters at high levels. Cap the progression at the current 12th or 13th level, give martials something to keep up after level 7-8 (on the ToB/PoW power-level, which does good stuff at lower levels, like see invisibility, blindsight, spider climb, etc - interesting and useful level 1-2 spells usable at will, basically).

Because 5e has gone halfway there. You have Fighters who are firmly in the level 1 to 7 paradigm, while casters have lost quite a bit since 3e, but their capstone spells are pretty much as insane as they were before.

Rhedyn
2019-09-19, 11:13 AM
Then 6e needs to get rid of spells, say, higher than level 5 or 6. It doesn't mesh in any way to have Wish Wizards and Same Ole Fighters at high levels. Cap the progression at the current 12th or 13th level, give martials something to keep up after level 7-8 (on the ToB/PoW power-level, which does good stuff at lower levels, like see invisibility, blindsight, spider climb, etc - interesting and useful level 1-2 spells usable at will, basically).

Because 5e has gone halfway there. You have Fighters who are firmly in the level 1 to 7 paradigm, while casters have lost quite a bit since 3e, but their capstone spells are pretty much as insane as they were before.
OSR games exist. Most stop at level 10 and leave 6th+ spells to GM fiat. You could also try out Savage Worlds. You can't really mimic 6th+ spells without using the Superpowers companion, and then everyone gets super powers not just casters. One of our Super Brutes clapped an enemy storm away, it was cool and will never happen in D&D.

High levels aren't actually meant to be played in D&D 5e, you are only suppose to think about them and how cool it would be to get there. So the balance at that level is irrelevant.

Mordaedil
2019-09-20, 01:15 AM
What gets me is when people think CR is "professional D&D" and if the players/DM are good enough that it will be just like that.

No guys. It's a show. An actual table will never be like that. I've seen GMs try to mimic CR and they tank their campaigns because Matt Mercer's **** isn't that fun to actually play.

It's not that it is "professional D&D", it's that the players are professional actors and that is a bit much to expect from your fellow players and that's where I feel like a lot of people miss-step. They come from the show expecting a D&D table to be all about doing goofy voices in character very convincingly, when that is almost never going to happen.

But like, I recognize a lot of stuff I've seen in games over 25 years of playing D&D in CR. I think it's incredibly disingenious to dismiss it as "just a show", even if I agree that it's a mistake to mimic it (everybody has their own style of DMing to be fair).

I mean, of things I've seen in just this season, they stole a boat and decided to go on a maritime adventure after a side-quest that went wrong sideways, they switched sides from the empire good guys to working with the evil drow faction. That is some PC shenanigans right there.

Rhedyn
2019-09-20, 07:41 AM
It's not that it is "professional D&D", it's that the players are professional actors and that is a bit much to expect from your fellow players and that's where I feel like a lot of people miss-step. They come from the show expecting a D&D table to be all about doing goofy voices in character very convincingly, when that is almost never going to happen.

But like, I recognize a lot of stuff I've seen in games over 25 years of playing D&D in CR. I think it's incredibly disingenious to dismiss it as "just a show", even if I agree that it's a mistake to mimic it (everybody has their own style of DMing to be fair).

I mean, of things I've seen in just this season, they stole a boat and decided to go on a maritime adventure after a side-quest that went wrong sideways, they switched sides from the empire good guys to working with the evil drow faction. That is some PC shenanigans right there.
We're coming at this from different angles. I think it's wrong to try to mimic the show because even if you succeed, it wouldn't be all that fun.

Sure you can steal elements that you think might work in an actual campaign, but it's a show and works as a show. They are all acting.

Pelle
2019-09-20, 08:07 AM
The power curve, and the resulting "progression" through a series of different "genres", has always been one of my peeves about D&D.
[...]
But that's not something that's ever going to change about D&D in any edition ever.

~~~~

[...] The whole idea of "per X" abilities that reset on rests probably just needs to go.

Yeah. I actually suspect few people play D&D specifically because of the zero to god progression. A lot of people really like leveling though, and want to feel very noticable improvements to their character's abilities regulary. That kind of necessitate this progression of genres in order achieve that. So it's more that people play D&D in spite of the genre progression, in order to get the "new stuff" experience.

~~~~

That would require at-will abilities only and abandoning the whole resource management game, no? IMO, the resource management game can be quite fun if the scenarios are designed for it. What I would like to see in another edition is that the resource management game was designed so that it is feasible to get through a "long rest cycle" (adventuring day, i.e. all of the resources) in one session.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-20, 08:24 AM
Yeah. I actually suspect few people play D&D specifically because of the zero to god progression. A lot of people really like leveling though, and want to feel very noticable improvements to their character's abilities regulary. That kind of necessitate this progression of genres in order achieve that. So it's more that people play D&D in spite of the genre progression, in order to get the "new stuff" experience.

Since we're talking about a theoretical 6th edition. I think people would be fine with losing the zero-to-god progression, so long as they got the levelling and very noticeable improvements. Mind you, that's vaguely what 4e was, although that also had a bunch of other things (like abandoning/minimizing the resource management game), so maybe the two can't happen in the same edition-change. Still, I can see a 6e where you still go from 1st level spells to 9th level spells, just without 9th level including Gates and Simulacrums and the other spells that have never not blown up the game.

Pelle
2019-09-20, 08:29 AM
I think people would be fine with losing the zero-to-god progression, so long as they got the levelling and very noticeable improvements.

To me, those seem mutually exclusive. If you don't go from zero-to-god, it probably won't be noticeable enough for what most people enjoy about leveling.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-20, 08:31 AM
To me, those seem mutually exclusive. If you don't go from zero-to-god, it probably won't be noticeable enough for what most people enjoy about leveling.

And yet the worst offender spell levels are those that (supposedly) most games never get to. Is it then just because you theoretically could get there that is an incentive?

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-20, 08:38 AM
That would require at-will abilities only and abandoning the whole resource management game, no? IMO, the resource management game can be quite fun if the scenarios are designed for it. What I would like to see in another edition is that the resource management game was designed so that it is feasible to get through a "long rest cycle" (adventuring day, i.e. all of the resources) in one session.


There are other ways to do "resources", that don't end up with "per unit time" issues, or conflicts in rest schedules, or disconnects with the "fiction" situation at hand.

Pelle
2019-09-20, 08:47 AM
And yet the worst offender spell levels are those that (supposedly) most games never get to. Is it then just because you theoretically could get there that is an incentive?

I have no idea. I personally don't care for it myself, but notice that players love leveling and get twitchy if they don't level ever so often. As I don't like the superhero genre, I would be perfectly happy with capping the levels at 10 (which is about where I've ended campaigns in the past).

I think it's mostly the regular incremental noticeable boost of power that people get addicted to. Where it ends up I don't think matters so much, but players tend to want to keep playing with the same characters, and thus the game "have" to offer higher levels to continue with the same power boost experience. Haven't really seen high level spells and capstone abilities be something players particularily looking forward to. It's more "leveling is fun" and "this character is cool, I want to keep playing it". And then suddenly you have a different genre without realizing it, and people start to lose interest...

Pelle
2019-09-20, 08:57 AM
There are other ways to do "resources", that don't end up with "per unit time" issues, or conflicts in rest schedules, or disconnects with the "fiction" situation at hand.

Could you expand a little on how, any examples? Making recovery of resources per unit time or rest based seems quite well suited for connecting it to the fiction.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-20, 09:05 AM
Could you expand a little on how, any examples? Making recovery of resources per unit time or rest based seems quite well suited for connecting it to the fiction.


Apologies, I'm sleep deprived and buried in work at the moment, so specific examples aren't clicking... we've had a lot of discussions around here of examples where the rest structure of 5e got really wonky when gameplay left the dungeon and got into other things.

My first suggestion to replace rest-reset abilities is to run things off "resource points" and have those points recharge per rest, can even prorate it to recovery for a short or long rest, nap vs full sleep, whatever.

Pelle
2019-09-20, 09:15 AM
My first suggestion to replace rest-reset abilities is to run things off "resource points" and have those points recharge per rest, can even prorate it to recovery for a short or long rest, nap vs full sleep, whatever.

That is still recovery of resources by time spent or rest based, and doesn't really change much.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-20, 09:20 AM
That is still recovery of resources by time spent or rest based, and doesn't really change much.

It removes the "short rest" vs "long rest" disconnect entirely, which is one of the big problems reported with 5e's rest system -- if the "day" isn't artificially constrained to a particular ratio of rests, it throws off the balance between classes. Long-rest classes are impacted by "days" with a lot of activity as they get stretched thin... short-rest classes are impacted by "days" that only give them one or no chances to reset their abilities.

So ditch the idea that abilities or spells are reset by "rests", just give them balanced "resource points" costs, and recharge everyone's "RPs" at the same rate regardless of class as they get in various amounts of rest.

Pelle
2019-09-20, 09:37 AM
It removes the "short rest" vs "long rest" disconnect entirely, which is one of the big problems reported with 5e's rest system -- if the "day" isn't artificially constrained to a particular ratio of rests, it throws off the balance between classes. Long-rest classes are impacted by "days" with a lot of activity as they get stretched thin... short-rest classes are impacted by "days" that only give them one or no chances to reset their abilities.

So ditch the idea that abilities or spells are reset by "rests", just give them balanced "resource points" costs, and recharge everyone's "RPs" at the same rate regardless of class as they get in various amounts of rest.

So, you just mean getting rid of the short vs. long rest dichtomy. That will only make it easier to balance the classes against each other, by making the more samey. That may be good, but I think it's kind of cool that some classes shine in some situations, and others in other.

What it does not solve though, is the standard 5e complaint about difference resting makes for dungeons vs. wilderness and urban areas etc. That's due to the fiction and what encounter frequency makes sense in those. Having the same recovery rate for everyone isn't changing the fact that "gritty" resting will be better suited for travelling and "heroic" resting better suited for dungeons. It's basically two different genres.

Rhedyn
2019-09-20, 09:43 AM
To me, those seem mutually exclusive. If you don't go from zero-to-god, it probably won't be noticeable enough for what most people enjoy about leveling. They aren't and I cite Savage Worlds.

You get noticable upgrades every level but you start and end in what many who play D&D call the "sweet spot" in terms of power. You are heroes without being gods. (Barring things like using the Superpowers Companion or playing Savage Rifts).

D&D doesn't really have zero to hero anymore. You start off as a pretty decent hero at level one and become mythical by level 4. Would a 6e need as steep of a power curve as 5e? No, 5e's curve is less than 3e or 4e (sort-of). Will it have a steep power curve? Yes, your game is just less cool when you roll back the power curve (PF2e). 5e got away with it by being like 95% new and really old players.

Ignimortis
2019-09-20, 10:07 AM
Yeah. I actually suspect few people play D&D specifically because of the zero to god progression. A lot of people really like leveling though, and want to feel very noticable improvements to their character's abilities regulary. That kind of necessitate this progression of genres in order achieve that. So it's more that people play D&D in spite of the genre progression, in order to get the "new stuff" experience.


The lack of zero-to-god progression is what turned me off 5e, actually. If I wanted to play a zero the whole game, or a god the whole game, or even a zero-to-middling-good-adventurer, I wouldn't play D&D for that. There are better systems with fixed power levels. Meanwhile, I keep returning to 3.5/PF1e, precisely because it offers an experience you can't find anywhere else.

jjordan
2019-09-20, 10:18 AM
It's quite clearly 'scripted' and on rails, but not to the point people claim. MM clearly has a scripted adventure plan which features a bunch of 'stations'/encounters which link to each other in various ways, but the group has a say in which trains they get on and it's closer to 'quantum ogreing' than a classic railroad. There's a gentlemen's agreement that the party won't try to sail to the other side of the world and will follow the plot hooks.

In short it's a fairly standard setup, made a little bit more extreme to ensure that the audience sees a good amount of entertaining stuff and a more definite structure of highs and lows.I disagree that it's scripted. I agree that every participant at the table is on board with the idea of producing watchable content and they have the professional skills to do so. I'll also say that I'm certain that they coordinated some of their backstories, to an unknown degree, and that Matt has woven those backstories into the game setting. But I don't think they've done anything that isn't available to every participant (DM and player) at every table. We can all create good backstories and motivations for adventuring. We can all weave those backstories into the game world to make it more personal and easy to buy into. We can all apply improv/cooperation principles to our game play. We can all be respectful of our fellow players.

I think your point about the gentleman's agreement is a huge point. The players helped create the world with the backstories. Ignoring all of those and haring off to someplace completely different would be... rude. It would ignore the DMs contributions to the game.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-20, 10:50 AM
It's not like there's a simple binary dichotomy of "scripted" and "not scripted".

Something like CR could be "somewhat scripted", with the basic plot and concepts laid out as a skeleton, and the participants fleshing it out.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-20, 11:16 AM
Barring additional evidence to the contrary, my impression is that it is more voluntary railroad than scripted -- the MM is running an adventure with a clear idea of where he wants it to go and how he wants things to turn out, and his players are all well more than fine with that.

Malphegor
2019-09-22, 12:48 PM
I kinda hope the 6e monster manual(s) has more Create-A-Monster bits so people can try to recreate monsters from prior editions.

As is we’re going to inevitably get our staples- beholders, hydras, etc are always in the game.

But more guidance to DMs so if they want to resurrect the Wolf-In-Sheeps-Clothing from AD&D for 6e, that’d be extremely useful.

More tools, less finished products. We still need some monsters but if making monsters is easy enough it’s be good.

Mordaedil
2019-09-23, 04:08 AM
We're coming at this from different angles. I think it's wrong to try to mimic the show because even if you succeed, it wouldn't be all that fun.
100% agreed.


Sure you can steal elements that you think might work in an actual campaign,
I think it's a bit of a mistake to take elements, as anyone that also watches the show would instantly catch it, but I think doing referential stuff in games is generally a newbie DM mistake in general. I don't hate it if it is a wink and nod, but if you have to have seen Evil Dead: Army of Darkness to solve the riddle of the Necronomicon, maybe you are going a bit too far with your references.


but it's a show and works as a show. They are all acting.
I dunno how you come to this however. It's no more show than a given let's play of a video game is a tutorial.

Why do you insist on calling it acting? It seems to imply it is something it is not. Are you suggesting they make a fake 4-hour script that they are following live on camera on twitch every week? That the performances are pre-rehearsed? I'm not entirely sure why this is your choice of word.

I think you give them too much credit in thinking it's a play-acted show instead of just a bunch of people playing D&D for the internet. It doesn't even parse.

Rhedyn
2019-09-23, 07:26 AM
I dunno how you come to this however. It's no more show than a given let's play of a video game is a tutorial.
Fun fact, Let's Plays are fake too. Most of the time they dig deeply into the game beforehand, pretending to play it the first time on camera. This is done so that they can craft interesting situations and minimize dead time.

CR is a show. It's not something your table should strive for because it wouldn't be fun. Unless you also do it in front of a camera and enjoy acting for an audience.

Knaight
2019-09-23, 02:59 PM
Fun fact, Let's Plays are fake too. Most of the time they dig deeply into the game beforehand, pretending to play it the first time on camera. This is done so that they can craft interesting situations and minimize dead time.

Other than all the cases where people are either going in blind or emphatically not doing so and not pretending they are anyways. Both have an underlying game, both add a layer of performative improv, both pretty much present themselves this way and really stretch the definition of fake in doing so.

Mordaedil
2019-09-24, 01:45 AM
Fun fact, Let's Plays are fake too. Most of the time they dig deeply into the game beforehand, pretending to play it the first time on camera. This is done so that they can craft interesting situations and minimize dead time.

CR is a show. It's not something your table should strive for because it wouldn't be fun. Unless you also do it in front of a camera and enjoy acting for an audience.

Cynical to a fault. Also incredibly wrong.

Lucas Yew
2019-09-24, 05:05 AM
Thing is, I'm mostly thinking about differences that are "actual new abilities" instead of "more numbers\attacks per turn\hp". And OSR has consistently proved to be not my thing, since those games tend to be crunchy in all the wrong places and kinda hollow in places I actually like to be crunchy.

It's not about perfect parity. It's more about Fighters getting sword beams, super-jump powers, AoE attacks, fantastic inspiration or intimidation (you can turn a mob of scared peasants into a small army of valiant heroes without actually transforming them physically, just through being an impossibly inspiring leader). Something that isn't "I swing my sword one more time now". Barbarians can get ancestral spirits and some magic from them, Rangers can find portals to other planes in the world, Rogues can hide in plain sight and teleport through shadows, etc.

QFT. And actually, I'd want it a tad more radically fantastic. To put it crudely, from the perspective of a wuxia fan, apart from one's usual rogues gallery, a high level 3.X Martial as of now looks pathetically incompetent in relevance to spellcasters of the same level. AKA, not worth their XP total.

Rhedyn
2019-09-24, 07:27 AM
QFT. And actually, I'd want it a tad more radically fantastic. To put it crudely, from the perspective of a wuxia fan, apart from one's usual rogues gallery, a high level 3.X Martial as of now looks pathetically incompetent in relevance to spellcasters of the same level. AKA, not worth their XP total.
High level spellcasters are best mimicked in a supers game, at which point the martials can do cool things too.

So this problem is already solved, if you want to go from 0 to superhero, you got to play something like GURPS. If you want to play action hero to action Superhero, then Savage Worlds has you covered.

Is D&D every going to let high level Fighters and Wizards be equivalent outside for 4e? Never again. The balance point of 5e where Fighters are needed in optimal team comps is the best we are going to get from WotC. And this is for a very good reason, a lot of people want a simple class, but more importantly Human Champion Fighters are the most popular class because it is archetypical and a bunch of wuxia abilities doesn't fit the King Arthur, LotR vibe.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-24, 09:02 AM
I'm struggling to find a way to say this that won't start the fight it seems to start half the time... :smalleek: Maybe this time we'll avoid the silly terminology digression, the worldbuilding digression, and just try to read each other's posts charitably. But, the discussion has reached that point where "what you want in 6e" includes making a pretty fundamental decision that people don't agree on, and that some flatly refuse to make.

Anyway.

You really can't have a game where magic is as powerful as it gets in D&D, where the "martial" characters are "not-magic" / "normal", and where the "magic" and "not-magic" characters are balanced at higher levels. Something has to give.

("Magic and "not-magic" here being used in a broad way, for the purposes of the statement things like wuxia and chopping down massive stone pillars with a sword and leaping over a 20' wall and punching out ancient giant dragons are all "magic" in the broadest sense, unless you change a lot of taken-for-granted assumptions that most of these settings appear to operate under. You can use "extranormal", "supernatural", or whatever term for fighters who can do things that are effectively "magic" in the sense that they're otherwise impossible.)



You can lower the power of magic, have not-magic "martials", and have balance.
You can keep magic really powerful, have magic "martials", and have balance.
You can keep magic really powerful, have not-magic "martials", and forgo balance.


Pick one.

What sort of game do you want? One of the problems with D&D is that it's often tried to be the first two at the same time, maybe in the effort to be as broadly marketable as possible -- and ended up being the third anyway.


We don't even need to debate which it "should" be, that's a matter of taste. Just actually think about what you want out of D&D, and consider that there may be a fundamental disconnect with what others want. When things start going around in circles repeatedly, maybe it's because one of you wants wuxia-type fighters, and another wants Conan-type fighters, and another wants LOTR-type fighters.

Ignimortis
2019-09-24, 09:06 AM
High level spellcasters are best mimicked in a supers game, at which point the martials can do cool things too.

So this problem is already solved, if you want to go from 0 to superhero, you got to play something like GURPS. If you want to play action hero to action Superhero, then Savage Worlds has you covered.

Is D&D every going to let high level Fighters and Wizards be equivalent outside for 4e? Never again. The balance point of 5e where Fighters are needed in optimal team comps is the best we are going to get from WotC. And this is for a very good reason, a lot of people want a simple class, but more importantly Human Champion Fighters are the most popular class because it is archetypical and a bunch of wuxia abilities doesn't fit the King Arthur, LotR vibe.

The thing is, if D&D is just gonna stick to LotR/Conan levels, then there are tons of better games for that out there. Most games with somewhat fixed power levels don't even use character levels as a mechanic, and having 20 levels of competence as a core component of a system means that they have to be meaningful enough to exist. 5e could be compressed down to 10 levels easily.

That's why I think that 3.5 model, even though accidental, was actually the best development for level-based systems. It just needs better tier definition and class balancing between the tiers.




You can lower the power of magic, have not-magic "martials", and have balance.
You can keep magic really powerful, have magic "martials", and have balance.
You can keep magic really powerful, have not-magic "martials", and forgo balance.


Pick one.

What sort of game do you want? One of the problems with D&D is that it's often tried to be the first two at the same time, maybe in the effort to be as broadly marketable as possible -- and ended up being the third anyway.


Precisely that. D&D keeps doing the third while trying to do the first two, when what it actually should be (otherwise there is no real purpose to levels) is 1st at low levels and 2nd at high levels. What we tend to get is 1st at low levels and then 3rd at high levels because not-magic martials never become magical. Monks do, a little bit, but their "magic" at level 15 is still worse than regular magic was at level 3, which is also weird.

You can do JUST the first or JUST the second, but that basically invalidates the purpose of 20 levels. You can get by with 5 or 7 or 10 in those cases, if you really want to. But usually that means you can just drop D&D and go play Riddle of Steel or Exalted or any of those other RPGs with somewhat fixed power levels.

MoiMagnus
2019-09-24, 09:21 AM
Random though on what I would want for 6e:

1) More support of having multiple abilities (abilities capped at 20 was already a great step in that direction). Currently, if you build a fighter, there is no way to use your high intelligence to be better at fighting. If you have a Str or Dex based character, there is little to no improvement to your combat capacity at being better at the other one. I don't know if there is a solution to this problem while still being D&D (since "using only one ability at a time" is kind of central to the d20 system), but I still hope they find a clever solution.

2) More spell customization. The "casting a spell at higher level" was one of the best idea of 5e, but I feel it is underused. E.G., the dominate monster, humanoid, and beast are still 3 different spells, while they could be a single one. Metamagic is cool, but sadly only for the Sorcerer. Etc...

3) Rules for skipping a fight. I'd love to have a way to say stuff like "Well, we're not playing this fight, since it's the same undeads than in the way in that just came back, so it would be redundant. Each of you take 10 abstract damages, so you either lose HP, either use spell slots and class abilities to compensate for this loss, using this conversion table", and having this already build in the game.

Rhedyn
2019-09-24, 10:05 AM
The thing is, if D&D is just gonna stick to LotR/Conan levels, then there are tons of better games for that out there. Most games with somewhat fixed power levels don't even use character levels as a mechanic, and having 20 levels of competence as a core component of a system means that they have to be meaningful enough to exist. 5e could be compressed down to 10 levels easily.

That's why I think that 3.5 model, even though accidental, was actually the best development for level-based systems. It just needs better tier definition and class balancing between the tiers.



Precisely that. D&D keeps doing the third while trying to do the first two, when what it actually should be (otherwise there is no real purpose to levels) is 1st at low levels and 2nd at high levels. What we tend to get is 1st at low levels and then 3rd at high levels because not-magic martials never become magical. Monks do, a little bit, but their "magic" at level 15 is still worse than regular magic was at level 3, which is also weird.

You can do JUST the first or JUST the second, but that basically invalidates the purpose of 20 levels. You can get by with 5 or 7 or 10 in those cases, if you really want to. But usually that means you can just drop D&D and go play Riddle of Steel or Exalted or any of those other RPGs with somewhat fixed power levels.5e martials can be condensed to 10 levels, casters and their spells need the full 20.

5e is actually a 1-10 game where levels 11-20 are included for enthusiasts. You aren't actually meant to play those levels, they exist for you to aspire too them.

Could 6e fix that issue? Nope. For mundanes to actually be equivalent at higher levels, they need superpowers and someone playing 1-10 seeing that they would get superpowers at 11 is pulled out of their class fantasy even if they never reach 11.
The only thing 6e could do is make cooler magic weapons and armor that only the mundanes would use and put recommendations in the DMG to make sure X classes get these items eventually.

5e doesn't cater at all to people wanting to play wuxia style characters outside of the monk class.

MoiMagnus
2019-09-24, 10:16 AM
Could 6e fix that issue? Nope. For mundanes to actually be equivalent at higher levels, they need superpowers and someone playing 1-10 seeing that they would get superpowers at 11 is pulled out of their class fantasy even if they never reach 11.

A solution would be to actually accept that the level 11-20 are "another step", similarly to the 4e paragon and epic (but in more developed), or similarly to 3.X prestige classes (but in more systematic).
Which mean you chose an "epic class" at level 11, which actually give you either high level magic, superpowers, or maybe even stuff like "legendary king/lord".

HeraldOfExius
2019-09-24, 10:17 AM
It seems like one of 5e's biggest faults is that it has a level cap of 20, even though the system isn't built for that many thanks to other aspects like bounded accuracy. I'm not even sure why the designers would choose to stretch everything out so far, since the level 20 cap was pretty much limited to 3.X before 5e also used it.

Ignimortis
2019-09-24, 10:21 AM
A solution would be to actually accept that the level 11-20 are "another step", similarly to the 4e paragon and epic (but in more developed), or similarly to 3.X prestige classes (but in more systematic).
Which mean you chose an "epic class" at level 11, which actually give you either high level magic, superpowers, or maybe even stuff like "legendary king/lord".

Yeah, this. Maybe even make a class for each defined tier? So 1-5, 6-10, 11-16 (probably would be better to make it 11-15 though), and 17-20 (16-20 here). Something like Fighter into Knight or Warrior or Marksman, then those into Swordmaster or Sentinel or Sharpshooter, etc.

Come to think of it, having a base class with 20 levels is somewhat of a sacred cow for D&D. If WotC finally pull the trigger on it, it might advance the game quite a bit.

Rhedyn
2019-09-24, 11:32 AM
Yeah, this. Maybe even make a class for each defined tier? So 1-5, 6-10, 11-16 (probably would be better to make it 11-15 though), and 17-20 (16-20 here). Something like Fighter into Knight or Warrior or Marksman, then those into Swordmaster or Sentinel or Sharpshooter, etc.
Congrats, you are now playing Shadow of the Demon Lord.

Ignimortis
2019-09-24, 11:44 AM
Congrats, you are now playing Shadow of the Demon Lord.

Except without the weird horror focus and other strange design decisions. While some parts of SotDL were okay, the end product didn't impress me in any way.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-24, 12:03 PM
Aside -- is it just me, or was/is there a spike in the popularity of "dark fantasy" games/settings?

Brookshw
2019-09-24, 12:05 PM
Aside -- is it just me, or was/is there a spike in the popularity of "dark fantasy" games/settings?

I hadn't noticed one. As we've seen with CoC and WoD (and arguably, Rogue Trader/40K rpgs) there's always been an audience for darker games/settings.

Willie the Duck
2019-09-24, 12:19 PM
Aside -- is it just me, or was/is there a spike in the popularity of "dark fantasy" games/settings?


I hadn't noticed one. As we've seen with CoC and WoD (and arguably, Rogue Trader/40K rpgs) there's always been an audience for darker games/settings.

Off the top of my head, I know of In the horror, grimdark, and dark fantasy genres:
Call of Cthullu
Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Rogue Trader/40K
Shadow of the Demon Lord
Symbaroum
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (and Zweihander)
WoD (just pretending this is all one thing for simplicities sake)

Of those, I think Zweihander is newest at 2017.

Ignimortis
2019-09-24, 12:24 PM
Aside -- is it just me, or was/is there a spike in the popularity of "dark fantasy" games/settings?

Yes, there was an upsurge. I would attribute that to GoT and Witcher becoming mainstream. Many DMs (that I elected not to play with) frothed at the mouth with excitement to run a game "like GoT/ASoIaF/Witcher" without understanding what made these things even somewhat good. Personally, I didn't like that, because at least people who run LotR-like games usually allow you to be a hero and save the world.

Zakhara
2019-09-24, 04:04 PM
Given the game's current state, I can't picture what WotC's next move would be. Thus, my preference for a 6e is one that is brave enough to buck the trends of familiar "D&Disms." To wit:

1.) No Alignment. Its function was subtle at the beginning, but when it expanded it became needless boxes to hedge personalities in. Removing this would necessitate the loss of alignment-focused abilities (no love lost in my book).

2.) Smaller, but more customizable class pool. I'm of the opinion that Wizard/Sorceror/Warlock are largely redundant variations on a theme. Same goes for Fighter/Barbarian, Cleric/Druid, etc. I would prefer something slightly closer to 2e, with four base "archetypes."
The 'path' system of 5e can be fairly easily reworked--alongside Feats--to create largely similar ideas in a more compact and straightforward way. This would ideally go hand-in-hand with no multiclassing requirements, to encourage dipping into other class 'baskets' for appropriate tools.

3.) Reduced emphasis on combat. There are plenty of things characters--especially spellcasters--could do as useful in-game concepts (perhaps as class abilities/feats, etc.), but almost all of it currently centers on what is exclusively effective for fighting or circumventing a fight. What harm is there in trimming it down and expanding a little on things like Morale, parlaying, etc.?

4.) An axe should be taken to the d20 skill system. Especially with Bounded Accuracy as-is, it would simply be easier to treat Skills as something more archetypical as well (I would say 2e's "Nonweapon Proficiency," though I consider Barbarians of Lemuria and its Careers most apt). The system at it exists now promotes constant rolling for things that really don't warrant it, and blatantly prioritizes certain attributes/skills over another (Perception).

5.) On that note: no attributes whatsoever. Their function of helping crystallize a character has now turned into an easily-optimized engine, woven heavily into the skill and combat systems. I believe that attributes--and racial modifiers--stifle creativity by promoting a "right/wrong" way to play a class, and encourage races/characters to fall into stereotypes (like the Half-Orc Barbarian, Tiefling Warlock, etc.). Inversely, it also enables characters to exist whose only claim to fame is being interesting for being unexpected, rather than characterful through player effort (like, what, a Gnome Barbarian?). Essentially, I believe removing them would not adversely affect gameplay in any way because it's a non-discriminatory top-to-bottom system change, and would encourage roleplay that doesn't use numbers as a crutch.

6.) A wholesale change to the magic system. I think it's safe to say the Vancian slots weren't a perfect system to start with, and with every edition it's become more apparent that it's insufficient to a balanced game. It's not the sole contributor to the martial/magic divide, but it's obviously part of the furniture. Changing it would cause greater scrutiny on the balance of spells in general (a good move in any event).

Clistenes
2019-09-24, 04:41 PM
Is there any hint that they are going to release a sixth edition any time soon?

I think it would be a risky gamble... many people have remained loyal to 3.5/Pathfinder, what if they further divide the fan base? If the launch a new edition, and only like a third of the D&D players transition to it, it would be a huge failure...

It's not as if WotC are even trying to sell many 5e books... or magazines... or novels... or video games... or miniatures... why don't they try to milk the current edition for a bit more of profit before moving on to something else?

noob
2019-09-24, 05:17 PM
Given the game's current state, I can't picture what WotC's next move would be. Thus, my preference for a 6e is one that is brave enough to buck the trends of familiar "D&Disms." To wit:

1.) No Alignment. Its function was subtle at the beginning, but when it expanded it became needless boxes to hedge personalities in. Removing this would necessitate the loss of alignment-focused abilities (no love lost in my book).

2.) Smaller, but more customizable class pool. I'm of the opinion that Wizard/Sorceror/Warlock are largely redundant variations on a theme. Same goes for Fighter/Barbarian, Cleric/Druid, etc. I would prefer something slightly closer to 2e, with four base "archetypes."
The 'path' system of 5e can be fairly easily reworked--alongside Feats--to create largely similar ideas in a more compact and straightforward way. This would ideally go hand-in-hand with no multiclassing requirements, to encourage dipping into other class 'baskets' for appropriate tools.

3.) Reduced emphasis on combat. There are plenty of things characters--especially spellcasters--could do as useful in-game concepts (perhaps as class abilities/feats, etc.), but almost all of it currently centers on what is exclusively effective for fighting or circumventing a fight. What harm is there in trimming it down and expanding a little on things like Morale, parlaying, etc.?

4.) An axe should be taken to the d20 skill system. Especially with Bounded Accuracy as-is, it would simply be easier to treat Skills as something more archetypical as well (I would say 2e's "Nonweapon Proficiency," though I consider Barbarians of Lemuria and its Careers most apt). The system at it exists now promotes constant rolling for things that really don't warrant it, and blatantly prioritizes certain attributes/skills over another (Perception).

5.) On that note: no attributes whatsoever. Their function of helping crystallize a character has now turned into an easily-optimized engine, woven heavily into the skill and combat systems. I believe that attributes--and racial modifiers--stifle creativity by promoting a "right/wrong" way to play a class, and encourage races/characters to fall into stereotypes (like the Half-Orc Barbarian, Tiefling Warlock, etc.). Inversely, it also enables characters to exist whose only claim to fame is being interesting for being unexpected, rather than characterful through player effort (like, what, a Gnome Barbarian?). Essentially, I believe removing them would not adversely affect gameplay in any way because it's a non-discriminatory top-to-bottom system change, and would encourage roleplay that doesn't use numbers as a crutch.

6.) A wholesale change to the magic system. I think it's safe to say the Vancian slots weren't a perfect system to start with, and with every edition it's become more apparent that it's insufficient to a balanced game. It's not the sole contributor to the martial/magic divide, but it's obviously part of the furniture. Changing it would cause greater scrutiny on the balance of spells in general (a good move in any event).

Please note that at any moment you can play one of the dozen of rpgs that are not dnd and have more fun.
Why would you push dnd toward becoming more similar to other rpgs while you could pick an rpg you like that is not dnd?
There is many rpgs that does not enforce classes, flesh out better the out of combat part of their system,does not have vancian spellcasting, are balanced, does not have alignment and are not so heavily based on checks and gives tons more freedom than dnd.

Rhedyn
2019-09-24, 06:08 PM
I do think that any D&D 6e would downplay combat more.

Their audience wants to RP more and hours of combat get in the way. We could expect HP to go down a lot. An easy way to do that would be to remove the con mod from everyone's health.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-24, 06:23 PM
Please note that at any moment you can play one of the dozen of rpgs that are not dnd and have more fun.
Why would you push dnd toward becoming more similar to other rpgs while you could pick an rpg you like that is not dnd?
There is many rpgs that does not enforce classes, flesh out better the out of combat part of their system,does not have vancian spellcasting, are balanced, does not have alignment and are not so heavily based on checks and gives tons more freedom than dnd.


Someone kinda mentioned this upthread, and I agreed.

Part of what goes on is an unintended consequence of D&D's market dominance and ubiquity. A lot of players can't find anything but D&D groups, so actually they can't just play one of those dozens of other RPGs. They do know about those other systems, and they get the impression they'll never get to the play them -- everyone is playing some variant of D&D.

So if they can't get players to play those other games instead of D&D, they'll turn D&D into the game that they want to play.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-24, 07:19 PM
As for attributes, I'd go the opposite way, and diversify what works off what attribute, instead of "all of Class X's stuff works off attribute Y, top to bottom, left to right".

Dienekes
2019-09-24, 07:32 PM
As for attributes, I'd go the opposite way, and diversify what works off what attribute, instead of "all of Class X's stuff works off attribute Y, top to bottom, left to right".

Yeah, somehow getting attribute parity is a goal of mine with my own system. It’s surprisingly easy to get the martial characters to have paths by which they can play off of Int, Wis, or Cha (or at least my variants). But it’s been kinda troublesome to think of a way to get your wizards to want Str without adding unfun restrictions to them.

Max_Killjoy
2019-09-24, 07:51 PM
Yeah, somehow getting attribute parity is a goal of mine with my own system. It’s surprisingly easy to get the martial characters to have paths by which they can play off of Int, Wis, or Cha (or at least my variants). But it’s been kinda troublesome to think of a way to get your wizards to want Str without adding unfun restrictions to them.

Sadly, I'm not sure we can get full parity in a heavily-class-based system, that also tends to minimize or ignore non-combat abilities.

Giving magic using characters a reason to care about other stats might involve giving them reasons to care about weapons and armor, and I lot of players would hate that, or at least that's the impression I get.

FabulousFizban
2019-09-24, 11:22 PM
5e is great. no need for a 6e

gooddragon1
2019-09-24, 11:30 PM
5e is great. no need for a 6e

If they make a scaled up version of 3.5 as 6e I will definitely disagree (and be very interested in playing it/6e).

Ignimortis
2019-09-25, 12:53 AM
If they make a scaled up version of 3.5 as 6e I will definitely disagree (and be very interested in playing it/6e).

If they make a version of 3.5 based on later 3.5 content (more detailed/fixed/flavourful spellcaster classes, fantastical ToB-style martials, unusual powers classes, etc), then yeah, I'd be all over it.

However, I don't think that would ever happen. The main playerbase is too attached to Wizards being a catch-all spellcaster, Monks being the only one with "weird martial powers", etc.

Zakhara
2019-09-25, 02:10 AM
Please note that at any moment you can play one of the dozen of rpgs that are not dnd and have more fun.
Why would you push dnd toward becoming more similar to other rpgs while you could pick an rpg you like that is not dnd?
There is many rpgs that does not enforce classes, flesh out better the out of combat part of their system,does not have vancian spellcasting, are balanced, does not have alignment and are not so heavily based on checks and gives tons more freedom than dnd.

Sure, and I have. The thing is that, with some exceptions, most of my hopes--however unrealistic--embody things that D&D had (or did not need) already. It's entirely possible to abandon things like attributes and skill checks (or even the magic system!) and still have the game be recognizably "D&D" at its core. We shouldn't be questioning whether the game is or is not "real D&D" according to the presence of certain features, we should be questioning what these now-sacrosanct features are truly adding to the experience. 6e, as a pipe dream, would have the rare opportunity to introduce its audience to the idea that D&D is more descriptive as a ruleset than prescriptive.

Pelle
2019-09-25, 04:52 AM
Could 6e fix that issue? Nope. For mundanes to actually be equivalent at higher levels, they need superpowers and someone playing 1-10 seeing that they would get superpowers at 11 is pulled out of their class fantasy even if they never reach 11.


I wonder how much truth there is to this. I agree that for mundanes to be balanced with casters past level 10 they need superpowers. I'm one of those who don't care for the superhero genre though, so I tend to stop playing D&D at about level 10. Not sure if seeing Fighters getting superpowers at level 11 will be a turn off for me or not, since I'm not going to play that anyways. But I guess it will be for many people, since 5e is designed without it to cater to that group.


A solution would be to actually accept that the level 11-20 are "another step", similarly to the 4e paragon and epic (but in more developed), or similarly to 3.X prestige classes (but in more systematic).
Which mean you chose an "epic class" at level 11, which actually give you either high level magic, superpowers, or maybe even stuff like "legendary king/lord".

Yeah, make it a really clear delineation, that it's a genre shift. Make level 11+ an Optional rule, so that it's a conscious decision to play with Epic (superhero) characters.

noob
2019-09-25, 05:30 AM
Sure, and I have. The thing is that, with some exceptions, most of my hopes--however unrealistic--embody things that D&D had (or did not need) already. It's entirely possible to abandon things like attributes and skill checks (or even the magic system!) and still have the game be recognizably "D&D" at its core. We shouldn't be questioning whether the game is or is not "real D&D" according to the presence of certain features, we should be questioning what these now-sacrosanct features are truly adding to the experience. 6e, as a pipe dream, would have the rare opportunity to introduce its audience to the idea that D&D is more descriptive as a ruleset than prescriptive.

By changing all those elements you no longer have a dnd system.
It is possible to take one of many other rpg and play in an dnd universe(all you have to do is pick a dnd setting and play it within another system).
if you consider the rule heaviness, the magic system, attributes and skill checks to not be important parts of dnd then it means you actually care more about the settings of dnd than about dnd(the system) and greyhawk(the forgotten realms, ebbheron, dragonlance and so on) can be played with other systems.
So why would wotc have to do whatever you want with dnd when you can get what you want by using greyhawk or ebbheron or whatever and playing within another system.
Settings are things that can be separated from systems rather easily and by your posts it is clear that the majority of the dnd system displease you.

So let the door monster treasure players play with the dnd system while you run around with what you like from the dnd settings in another system.