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    Default Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Everybody and their DM has thought about fixing D&D, even though most of us will never complete their fix for one reason or another. Not all of us even agree on what must be done. So I though it might be fun to discuss how you would fix Dungeons & Dragons.

    So the rules are simple. You must simply explain the changes you'd make and why you'd make them while still keeping: a class and level structure, the ability to explore dungeons and fight monsters, and tactical combat.

    To start this off, I'll plonk down what I'm working on. This has changed significantly since I started working it, because it began at a point where I was disillusioned with common magic games and I recently threw out the last draft for bring too specialised as a no magic combat simulator.

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    Goals: -lower magic, high fantasy
    -magic doesn't solve problems, but provides more tools
    -a focus on customisable archetypes
    -a lower power ceiling

    So the system uses three physical Virtues (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) and three mental Virtues (Intellect, Courage, and Empathy). Well okay, they're Ability Scores, but we're going for a game of heroes here, and Virtues sounds cool. Intellect is both your ability to logic and your ability to notice things, Courage is roughly Willpower, and Empathy is your ability to connect with people. I didn't like how hard it was to tell the difference between what Intelligence covers and what Wisdom covers, and honestly Courage and Willpower is more than enough for a Virtue to cover.

    Well, we have classes and levels at least. But broad archetypes the players can fine tune, the basic classes are literally the Mundane and the Magician. The Mundane gets a lot of Skill Points and Talents, while the Magician can learn spells from a magical tradition. Races are also classes, so elves get access to special spells and dwarves gain enhanced abilities with technology. Here multiclassing allows us to allow people to break racial archetypes while still keeping them strong, an elf who doesn't want spellcasting takes Elf 1 for basic elf abilities then focuses on the Mundane class, while one who focuses on it goes Elf 1/Magician (Elf) X.

    Talents are feats. Closer to 5e feats than 3.X ones to help them stand up against spells as a character choice, but still feats except in name. They absorb a lot of old class features, to keep things like Smite and Channel Divinity there as options.

    Skill points are gained from your class (a set number per level), and give skill ranks at a rate of one to one. Your maximum number of ranks is equal to three plus one third of your level rounded mathematically (increases at 2nd level and every third level afterwards), as a slight incentive to not just max your main skills and neglect all others.

    Before moving onto spells, let's talk derived Statistics. Your Hit Points begin equal to your Constitution and increase by 1-3 each level, depending on your class. For spellcasters their Magical Energy begins equal to their Empathy and increases by 1-3 each level, depending on class. Melee Defence is equal to 10+Dexterity+your highest weapon skill, Ranged Defence is equal to 10+Dexterity+Dodge skill, Mental Defence is equal to 10+Courage+Discipline skill, and Spiritual Defence is equal to 10+Courage+Faith skill. Speed is 10+Strength+Dexterity.

    For spells, spell levels are gone. A magician of any level can learn any spell. But every spell you cast requires you to spend XP or start suffering Exhaustion levels. Spells also don't allow you to bypass a skill check completely anymore, but may allow you to substitute a different skill or roll the skill when you wouldn't be able to. There's also no free Cantrips, at least at the moment, and ME can run out fast if you're casting spells for everything. Magicians get a better toolkit, but it has inbuilt costs and doesn't replace the mundane one.


    Well that's my idea at least, feel free to critique it and/or post your own.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I generally keep a really heavy book at hand, I'm fond of the OED Unabridged from a few years ago that I own, and just give anybody that tries to muck up the game a dirty look and then pat the book.

    If you meant rules, eh I don't as a rule have problems with the rules. But your system seems a lot like Green Ronin's True20 ruleset.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Well, I've seen me some interviews with Mike Mearls where he flat out says that a big goal with 5e WD&D was to make it more accessible to new players (I put the W there because '91 BECMI/RC was called 5e TD&D, yes it was so, 'cept they didn't need to put the "T" in front back then).

    And it's working.

    There's lots of new players, and old players coming out of the woodwork.

    It's Dungeon Masters that are scarce.

    The DMG makes me want to "stop all my bellyaching, get off ny duff, dust off the DM's hat (a too small plastic horned 'Viking' helmet, with 'DUNGEON MASTER' written by magic marker on it) perch it on my head and show 'em how it's done!"

    And then I look into the PHB, shudder, and hide in a corner, there's just so much!

    1977 Basic rules D&D I could DM, and I did, starting at the age of ten.

    Thing is players like all those crunchy, juicy, and shiny options, I do, I love the Swashbuckler! I love a muti-classed Barbarian/Fighter/Paladin/Ranger/Rogue even more!

    But I don't want to DM that mess!

    I don't know how to square that circle.

    So my solution is to use BRP or LotFP as a GM, and to play 5e when someone else is the DM.

    I don't know, take the free on-line rules, red line some of it, and call it a day.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    As a first draft, really, I'd just take 2e D&D, and rewrite it using BAB instead of THAC0, good ideas instead of toxic advice, and Quertian pros instead of Gygaxian pros. Maybe include a few updates, like giving Fighters +1 BAB at level 1, or Wizards getting more than one spell at first level.

    If I were more serious about it, I'd poke at the 4e crowd, until I either understood what they liked about the 4e gameplay, I got kicked off the forum for insulting people in my incredulity, I had a mental breakdown, died of old age, or, the least likely outcome, actually managed to understand and steal their special sauce.

    I'd consider attempting to add in all of the breadth of the 3e content, but that sounds like too lengthy an effort for one lifetime.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I'm not sure exactly, but it would probably look a lot like Dungeon World. Or at least closer to Dungeon World than most actual D&D editions. I might more ability to adjust a character to your exact tastes as time goes on, but most Powered by the Apocalypse systems do a great job at making every class/playbook seem interesting and unique out of the gate.

    I might also create a more complete theoretical explanation of magic, just to keep wizards from being able to do absolutely everything. But Dungeon World apparently does an alright job of that already.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Roleplaying is my job. Gameworld setting is the DM's job. Fun game mechanics is D&D's job.

    3E Chassis
    Warriors use 3E Tome of Battle
    Arcane casters use Dreamscarred Press Psionics
    Divine casters use Pathfinder Oracles
    Spellcasters use 5E style Cantrips adapted for 3E Chassis
    All characters use 5E rules for movement and actions
    Feats, Skills, and Magic Item details to be dealt with Pathfinder style
    Pathfinder point buy and races.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erit View Post
    "The DM is the world, the gods, the trees and the bees. But no matter what covenant is struck or words exchanged, the DM is not the PCs."

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I had my fill of tinkering with d20 years ago with the results still probably lingering in the depths of the homebrew forum, and my need to make a retroclone died with Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    In the broadest sense, I'd try to tone down high-level magic such that high-level casters could still be powerful but wouldn't require redesigning the world to and/or giving enemies specific counters to their abilities in order to challenge them. It's been something of an issue for most of D&D's history, and is still an issue even in 5e--try pitting an enemy without teleportation and poison immunity against a caster with Forcecage and Cloudkill, for instance.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Power levels:
    I feel as if 4E was on to something with tiers. Really. While more specialized systems are perhaps basically better at any given level and game style than D&D, the unique selling point of D&D, I think, is that rush of levelling. Where you start out as the village nobody and end up a demigod, if you play long enough. So we play into that. Low levels are weak. There's barely any magic, you need trickery, guile, tactics and probably henchmen to take on anything more than a few goblins.
    But from there on, you go on to be mighty heroes, a Conan or an Aragorn or a Robin Hood. At this level, mages are wise and learned, but their magic is not that powerful and it does not have the answers to everything and they probably rely on their knowledge of the weird and dangerous more than on their spells.
    At higher levels, everyone has powers. That's it. There's no more "Guy who's just pretty good with a sword". That's just not a thign that works anymore. If you want to be close to normal, you can be a Gilgamesh or Cú Chulainn, but you will still be functionally invulnerable to normal weapons and wrestling dragons. More likely, your fighter will be Thor. Your wizard is now the classical D&D wizard.

    Magic:
    At low levels, there will be Unearthed Arcana styled Incantations like in the SRD, just many, many more of them, and they will be open to any class as rituals. For more specialized classes, there will be a few general magical powers, though very few, mainly things that concern interacting with magic via willpower, namely sensing magical effects and creatures, breaking curses and enchantments, warding off and banishing magical creatures, that kind of thing. In addition, there will be pact magic, based on Tome of Magic's binder, but refluffed with more categories of spirits other than just the really weird ones from outside reality: animal spirits, ancestral spirits, fiends, that kind of thing.

    Vancian magic is a thing, because I love it, but it will be restricted to very high level wizards. It will be based on concentration and allow a wizard to memorize and release more narrow magical effects. It will mainly have the advantage of allowing a wizard to directly access magical energies like magical creatures do, without needing an outsider or spirit as an intermediary.

    Combat:
    ToB Maneuvers for everyone. They just work.

    Also, I find healing just tedious, so let's switch to a vitality and wound points system, where in many fights, you'll get winded, but not badly wounded. This also has the advantage of allowing a bit more realism at lower levels, where your barbarian can't just say "Oh, it's just a longbow, I can take that". No, he evaded. It was close and thrilling. Throw in vitality points automatically refilling after a short rest, too.

    Skills:
    More of them. A lot more. Here's the thing. I know that combining skills like hide and move silently into stealth or listen and spot into perception is popular. But I like granular skills. Like, super-granular. If it was up to me, everyone would get something like 10 skill points per level and the skill list would be twice as long. I'd freely plunder from other games, too. You can tell me all you want that no one ever takes Gem Cutting or Astrology as a skill, I want that in there.

    Feats:
    Eliminate everything that's just +X to Y. Unless maybe, maaaaybe the bonus is super huge. Really, I'd like feats to hand out new abilities wherever possible.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2018-06-05 at 02:28 AM.
    And if you gaze long into an abyss, sometimes the abyss blushes and looks away.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    My fix is E6(-ish). Basically E6, except once you're Epic Level, you can essentially do all things. Not easily, you don't get to cast high level magic in combat - but there is a way for you to do anything, pretty much regardless of class.

    So it's sort of E6 with a free-form epic level superstructure.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Well, ok. Holy d20 cows, meet the butcher.

    Attributes:

    The six basic attributes stay the same, but without the score. Instead, everything works of the pure modifier. (I.e. STR +2 instead of STR 14 (+2)). No bonus spells per day due to high scores.

    Classes:

    No more "full" 20 level classes and Prestige Classes. Instead, there´re three tiers of play, each with their own 7 level classes and an optional level zero for playing origin stories of how you actually got your class/powers/knowledge. The tiers are basically self-contained and non-consecutive, so there is no "+1 existing X", rather, each tier has a list of available feats and tier-specific spells/martial stuff ranging from 1-4, with T1/T2 using fixed-list casters and only T3 opening up to full list casters. And yes, everyone will get spells. No multiclassing. (Conan > Captain America > Thor)

    Spells:

    Spells will be divided between class specific, combat magic and ritual magic. The former two will "refresh" their used spell slots after each encounter, the later will use up a spell slot for the day as usual. Class specific spells are directly tied into already existing class features, like smite evil or rage and modify those in a way.

    Gear and magic items:

    Automatic Bonus Progression and Scaling Items as the standard (both PF Unchained). No more raw +x items of any kind.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    • E6 with Generic Classes from UA.
    • Expanded (but not unlimited) set of class features that can be taken as feats. All class features converted to feats are Typed as Feature Feats. Also, planning some feats fixes (Dodge and its ilk)
    • Feature feats will be taken from trusted sources (more or less the same splat restrictions as an Iron Chef competition).
    • No LA buyoff, but up to LA+1 races allowed. Feats gained with RHD must choose General, Racial, or Monster feats (RHD never grants Feature Feats).
    • Warrior gets ToB maneuvers and stances as Warblade (but you may choose any combination of 5 disciplines).
    • Spellcaster and Warrior now get 4+int mod skill points each level
    • Psionics have magic transparency and are open to spellcasters as an equal alternative to divine or arcane spells.
    • Expert gains proficiency with Bard and Rogue weapons plus invocations as Warlock.
    • You don't take PrCs, but as soon as you meet a PrC's prereqs, you can take the PrC's features as feats.
    • Passive and Active defenses: you always gain the benefit of passive defenses, which is like taking 10 on concentration, perception, initiative, AC, and saving throws. As an action, you can consciously use these defenses (for AC, this is fighting defensively), but you must roll a d20 instead of taking 10 and take the result, even if it's worse than 10.
    • Saga First Aid: to give first aid, roll Heal against DC 15. If you make the check, the character gains their character level number of hit points and can't benefit from first aid for 24 hours. You heal an additional point for every 2 points by which you beat the DC. You take a -5 to give yourself first aid.
    • Initiative gains Iaijutsu Focus as a Trained Only application. Initiative is also a skill you can use any time you want to interrupt something (except attacks on you, which is AC and/or Reflex).
    • Skill Grouping: Grouped skills consolidate skills so points don't need to stretch as far. Class features that target a grouped skill still only affect that sub skill and not the whole group unless we make an exception. You still roll these sub skills separately; the consolidation just allows them to share ranks. Prereqs that require a skill that has been absorbed are satisfied by the skill that has acquired the sub skill. Prereqs that normally require multiple skills in a group only require a number of ranks in the combined group skill equal to the highest prereq (of skills belonging to that group). For example, prereqs of 4 Ride and 8 Handle Animal only require 8 Handle Animal.
    • Ride is grouped into Handle Animal. You never need to make checks to ride mounts whose attitude towards you is Helpful, such as an animal companion, though you still need to make them for doing riding stunts.
    • Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Profession, and Spellcraft are grouped into Knowledge (X). Gather Information is grouped here when using the skill to do research using written documents.
    • Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate are grouped into Persuasion (note that you still choose which to use, you just use the same ranks for whichever skill). Gather Information is grouped here when using the skill to talk to people.
    • Spot and Listen are grouped into Perception.
    • Hide and Move Silently are grouped into Stealth.
    • Tumble, Jump, and Balance are grouped into Acrobatics.
    • Artificers and Incarnum: Chopping down the Christmas Tree. The only magic items that exist are expendable wands, potions, scrolls and similar items. Magic weapons, armor, and baubles (rings, amulets, masks, etc) don't exist and instead everyone with class levels gets meldshaping as a totemist (with chakras and essentia as part of the package).


    EDIT: I was thinking about the dodge feat fix and it reminded me I wanted another systematic change: all characters get 1 Martial Reaction per round. This can be used to make an attack of opportunity or a dodge. To make a dodge, roll Initiative against a DC equal to the attack being dodged (you must declare dodge after the attack is declared, but before the result of the attack is declared). If the check succeeds, the attack deals half damage if it beats AC and the dodger gets +1 dodge to AC against that attack.

    Uncanny dodge allows the dodger to negate all the damage from a dodged attack.

    Mobility allows you to dodge attacks of opportunity

    Combat reflexes gives you martial reaction equal 1+dex mod (minimum 1)

    And so on.
    Last edited by Pleh; 2018-06-05 at 08:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Two things have always bothered me a lot about D&D: how unrealistic weapons and especially armours are, and how long combat takes.

    I started by changing available armours and their protections (mail was the best armour you could get in a world with technology similar to Europe 1200, and it was a good armour, not the nonsense that comes in the handbook), I continued by doing away with hit points and using an endurance system instead in which players sort of rolled a saving throw when they got hit to see if they'd get wounded, and ended by playing FATE.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    [...] and ended by playing FATE.
    I feel like that is how a lot of stories about trying to improve D&D end. Everyone (in North America) seems to come into the hobby by passing through D&D. Some people stay there but I actually think it is the wrong system for a lot of people, and so they drift away from it.

    I'm working on a system that... well as I mentioned above is closer to Dungeon World than D&D mechanically (except dice pools) but the setting is different from both of those. Magic users aren't wizards for one, the there is a single setting for the game and so on.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    It's Dungeon Masters that are scarce.
    D&D 7.0 will solve this problem with AI

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Thing is players like all those crunchy, juicy, and shiny options, I do, I love the Swashbuckler! I love a muti-classed Barbarian/Fighter/Paladin/Ranger/Rogue even more!

    But I don't want to DM that mess!
    You can force them to stay single-classed, or at most two classes, yanno. The nice thing about D&D (and Pathfinder) is that a lot of the time, just sticking to one class gives you a bunch of crunchy options while demanding relatively little cerebral overhead from the GM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    While everything is great, Selected replies only so I'm able to do some other stuff today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    If you meant rules, eh I don't as a rule have problems with the rules. But your system seems a lot like Green Ronin's True20 ruleset.
    Maybe, never actually read True20. I also don't like how it seperates out mundane stuff into two classes, but that's a personal preference. But I believe that a lot of my 'design goals' are similar to theirs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Power levels:
    I feel as if 4E was on to something with tiers. Really. While more specialized systems are perhaps basically better at any given level and game style than D&D, the unique selling point of D&D, I think, is that rush of levelling. Where you start out as the village nobody and end up a demigod, if you play long enough. So we play into that. Low levels are weak. There's barely any magic, you need trickery, guile, tactics and probably henchmen to take on anything more than a few goblins.
    But from there on, you go on to be mighty heroes, a Conan or an Aragorn or a Robin Hood. At this level, mages are wise and learned, but their magic is not that powerful and it does not have the answers to everything and they probably rely on their knowledge of the weird and dangerous more than on their spells.
    At higher levels, everyone has powers. That's it. There's no more "Guy who's just pretty good with a sword". That's just not a thign that works anymore. If you want to be close to normal, you can be a Gilgamesh or Cú Chulainn, but you will still be functionally invulnerable to normal weapons and wrestling dragons. More likely, your fighter will be Thor. Your wizard is now the classical D&D wizard.
    I've actually decided to lop off the 'core rules' at level 10/Conan, and give gods their own dedicated book (because at that point so many assumptions change that it really is a new game, and that deserves discussion). So essentially an Epic Level Handbook treatment for, to use the 4e tiers, late paragon/epic.

    I'm also justifying this with the lower levels really just being more popular (as well as what I prefer). Yes, this is essentially leading to a 'two book core' case where I release the pdfs 'Book 1: Mortal' and 'Book 2: Demigod', if I ever get decent art for this and bother to get it on DriveThruRPG (probably for PWYW, maybe free) instead of just putting it on my blog (which I really need to restart). Yes, I've argued against exactly that.

    Magic:
    At low levels, there will be Unearthed Arcana styled Incantations like in the SRD, just many, many more of them, and they will be open to any class as rituals. For more specialized classes, there will be a few general magical powers, though very few, mainly things that concern interacting with magic via willpower, namely sensing magical effects and creatures, breaking curses and enchantments, warding off and banishing magical creatures, that kind of thing. In addition, there will be pact magic, based on Tome of Magic's binder, but refluffed with more categories of spirits other than just the really weird ones from outside reality: animal spirits, ancestral spirits, fiends, that kind of thing.

    Vancian magic is a thing, because I love it, but it will be restricted to very high level wizards. It will be based on concentration and allow a wizard to memorize and release more narrow magical effects. It will mainly have the advantage of allowing a wizard to directly access magical energies like magical creatures do, without needing an outsider or spirit as an intermediary.
    I'll be honest, I like rituals/incantations as well, but I'm a bit torn on putting them in. On the one hand, letting even nonmages cast spells if they have the time and the right piece of paper is good, on the other hand it's another couple of pages of rules plus a list of rituals. I love it as an option, but I'm not sure I'd make it a PC's main form of magic at any level.

    Combat:
    ToB Maneuvers for everyone. They just work.

    Also, I find healing just tedious, so let's switch to a vitality and wound points system, where in many fights, you'll get winded, but not badly wounded. This also has the advantage of allowing a bit more realism at lower levels, where your barbarian can't just say "Oh, it's just a longbow, I can take that". No, he evaded. It was close and thrilling. Throw in vitality points automatically refilling after a short rest, too.
    Eh, I'm going competely the other way. Relatively low hp totals, fast and deadly combat, relatively slow healing without magic. I can see the desire for wounds and vitality, but I want Combat as War.

    Skills:
    More of them. A lot more. Here's the thing. I know that combining skills like hide and move silently into stealth or listen and spot into perception is popular. But I like granular skills. Like, super-granular. If it was up to me, everyone would get something like 10 skill points per level and the skill list would be twice as long. I'd freely plunder from other games, too. You can tell me all you want that no one ever takes Gem Cutting or Astrology as a skill, I want that in there.

    Feats:
    Eliminate everything that's just +X to Y. Unless maybe, maaaaybe the bonus is super huge. Really, I'd like feats to hand out new abilities wherever possible.
    I'm actually combining skills and giving everybody a bunch of skill points. I don't want 'skill monkey' to be a thing, everybody should have a bunch of skills instead of one or two. Agreeing on Feats thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Two things have always bothered me a lot about D&D: how unrealistic weapons and especially armours are, and how long combat takes.

    I started by changing available armours and their protections (mail was the best armour you could get in a world with technology similar to Europe 1200, and it was a good armour, not the nonsense that comes in the handbook), I continued by doing away with hit points and using an endurance system instead in which players sort of rolled a saving throw when they got hit to see if they'd get wounded, and ended by playing FATE.
    Yeah, I own a lot of other systems. The problem I've found is that nobody's willing to play, for example, Unknown Armies, and I hate running D&D.

    I mean, I'd be running Unknown Armies right now if I could. But nobody wants to play a game of crazy mages stuck in a crime story. Then again, Uknown Armies is one of the few roleplaying games which opens the combat section with 'right, here's some ways to avoid risking your life, number one is surrender...'

    So yeah, a lot of my changes are to keep the rough style and feel of D&D while going for the more open character creation I like. Keeping classes and levels because for all their problems, it is simpler to spend 8 skill points and pick a Talent/two spells then to divide up your 50CP. Because that way I might actually be able to run a game I enjoy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Well, I don't have a concrete plan on hand, but here's what I'd do to make D&D more enjoyable to me:

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    -Focus on high-powered, heroic fantasy. Gritty, low-powered systems that make you struggle to survive are as common as grains of sand in a desert, while more heroic systems are rare.
    -Put an emphasis on mechanical clarity. There are some situations which can share the same subsystem, but clear mechanics should cut down on rules questions and mitigates abuse from either side of the screen.
    -Related to the above, reduce direct DM input on player abilities. If you have to ask your DM how your power unfolds, it highly limits a player's ability to make informed decisions if there's no way of telling if your spell has the intended effect or if your straightforward idea makes your DM scream about metagaming. The DM is a narrator, not a scriptwriter.
    -Reduce the horizontality of the higher classes. Tier 1s have an absurdly wide skillset and it makes them too samey on grounds that very little is not open to any of them. At the same time, broaden the concepts of lower tier classes to not get stuck doing one thing only forever.


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    -Classes that are too broad and nondescript as a concept get out of core - Fighter, Wizard and Sorcerer definitely and maybe a few others.
    -Fighting classes based on different styles (think Swashbuckler, Knight or the other core martials) which later gain wuxia-style special abilities.
    -Magic classes based around certain themes (like Dread Necromancer, Beguiler and Warmage) which may have limited options for certain effects (a blaster will lack social tools, a necromancer doesn't have good mobility options and a conjurer lacks means to act spontaneously). You can totally be a tome-diving scholar and not be infinitely powerful.
    -Shapeshifting will be a fixed buff like in Pathfinder but also present a menu of choices that determine what special abilities you get. Summons work the same way and such creatures require a skill to be controllable.
    -Bestiary monsters will have flexible spell lists and occasional monsters with variable traits (such as HP and some stats), with highlighted abilities considered to be common knowledge.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    depending on pathfinder 2e my current fix would be nerf the f out of wizard then add some quality of life stuff to game like proper entertaiment options ( dancer class and few updated book of erotic fantasy stuff) but not much change unless it needs another round of idiot proofing
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Pretty long list, the short of it:
    1. Classes would be broken up into a combat and a social class. So a character might be a Skirmisher/Scholar, or a Brute/Wilderness Expert. This removes the horrid flaw of trying to balance combat effectiveness against out of combat effectiveness, and the number of classes would be both shorter and longer due to more combinations being available.
    2. Traditional spell based magic is based on rituals and incantations which take time and group participation. This is not class based.
    3. Skills have elaborate mini-games for diplomacy, locks/traps, magic, etc. Many of these are not dice based (doing a 100 piece puzzle on a timer for an epic level ritual for instance).
    4. HP is removed, replaced by endurance points and wounds. Wounds are lost to heal endurance, when hit by a crit or when dropping below 0 EP. You roll on a wound chart for these, and wounds heal very slowly.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Which edition?

    The biggest issues I'd notice, whichever edition I started from, are twofold. First, as 2D8HP mentioned, there's a tug of war between players (who, having only one character, want to load it up with shinies and cool power interactions), and DMs (who, having to deal with a whole party full of that stuff plus the rest of the world's reactions and counters, want to keep their mental load somewhere more reasonable). And second, as the 4e experiment showed, stretching too far from the expected baseline will cause a revolt. Like, I liked 4e for a lot of the simplifications, but I know that filling tables and selling books is a lot easier with products off the 3e fork.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    So far the best fix I've found to my problems with 3e and 5e is to play 2e instead.

    The more I play systems with tons of options, streamlining and overall freedom, the more I realize I don't actually like any of those things. I LIKE having a small system with messy stat rules and odd class/race restrictions. Those make the game more fun for me. The more things get opened up, streamlined and made 'fun' for players the less real any of it feels.

    And no, this isn't nostalgia. I played 3.5 first for 6-7 years, (I also played 2e a little but didn't like it) then 5e for another 4-5 and only played 2e seriously in the last 3 years.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by CantigThimble View Post
    So far the best fix I've found to my problems with 3e and 5e is to play 2e instead.

    The more I play systems with tons of options, streamlining and overall freedom, the more I realize I don't actually like any of those things. I LIKE having a small system with messy stat rules and odd class/race restrictions. Those make the game more fun for me. The more things get opened up, streamlined and made 'fun' for players the less real any of it feels.

    And no, this isn't nostalgia. I played 3.5 first for 6-7 years, (I also played 2e a little but didn't like it) then 5e for another 4-5 and only played 2e seriously in the last 3 years.
    I prefer a tendency to an outright ban; i.e. races and classes aren't restricted, but there are logical reasons why certain combinations are rare. For example, in most D&D settings relatively few Dwarves are wizards and almost none are Sorcerers, and usually this is explained by not giving them any racial advantage for being the former and an outright disadvantage for the latter. But if you want to be a Dwarf Sorcerer, well, PCs are meant to be exceptional, so go for it - the roleplay opportunities that pop up when other dwarves you meet view you as being daft will be rich indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Change things enough that people are back in a mysterious world, like the first time they ever played. [And give them fair warning.]

    From the introduction to my latest 2e campaign:

    Quote Originally Posted by Introduction to D&D Campaign
    DO NOT assume that you know anything about any fantasy creatures. I will re-write many monsters and races, introduce some not in D&D, and eliminate some. The purpose is to make the world strange and mysterious. It will allow (require) PCs to learn, by trial and error, what works. Most of these changes I will not tell you in advance. Here are a couple, just to give you some idea what I mean.
    1. Dragons are not color-coded for the benefit of the PCs.
    2. Of elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, kobolds, goblins, and orcs, at least one does not exist, at least one is slightly different from the books, and at least one is wildly different.
    3. Several monsters have different alignments from the books.
    4. The name of an Undead will not tell you what will or won’t hurt it.
    5. The first time you see a member of a humanoid race, I will describe it as a “vaguely man-shaped creature.” This could be a kobold, an elf, or an Umber Hulk until you learn what they are.

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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post

    I mean, I'd be running Unknown Armies right now if I could. But nobody wants to play a game of crazy mages stuck in a crime story. Then again, Uknown Armies is one of the few roleplaying games which opens the combat section with 'right, here's some ways to avoid risking your life, number one is surrender...'
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    DO NOT assume that you know anything about any fantasy creatures. I will re-write many monsters and races, introduce some not in D&D, and eliminate some. The purpose is to make the world strange and mysterious. It will allow (require) PCs to learn, by trial and error, what works. Most of these changes I will not tell you in advance. Here are a couple, just to give you some idea what I mean.
    1. Dragons are not color-coded for the benefit of the PCs.
    2. Of elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, kobolds, goblins, and orcs, at least one does not exist, at least one is slightly different from the books, and at least one is wildly different.
    3. Several monsters have different alignments from the books.
    4. The name of an Undead will not tell you what will or won’t hurt it.
    5. The first time you see a member of a humanoid race, I will describe it as a “vaguely man-shaped creature.” This could be a kobold, an elf, or an Umber Hulk until you learn what they are.
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    Recapping or summarizing helps my own understanding, to ensure I'm learning what people are saying. I apologize if I misrepresent you or your position while working through the topic

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Jama7301 View Post
    I wish to subscribe to your newsletters
    I'm in the middle of writing what is essentially 'detrademarked UA fanfiction' at the moment, and plan to upload a review of 3e on my blog (as the grand restart I've been meaning to get around to) including why I think it is the best urban fantasy game ever written.

    One of the big advantages to UA is that the world and magick is evolving. Partially because it's meant to be 'our world, but with an occult underground and real magick', which means real world advances can impact the setting (most Videomancers probably hate streaming services, because it's harder to fetishise their shows). I actually love that 3e's corebook has none of the Adept schools from 1e and 2e even though they're still around, because it very much gets across that the world has changed an new Adepts have different priorities.

    Unknown Armies is also just a very well written game. Characters in it are supposed to want to avoid combat, or at least get it over with as quickly as possible. So combat is deadly, and even moreso once firearms get into the mix (you can survive a couple of chainsaw attacks if you're lucky, but guns essentially deal melee crit levels of damage all the time), the system opens the combat section with 'six ways to avoid a fight', and very few supernatural powers are combat based. It's also got one of the best sanity systems I've seen, which not only represents being too detached to be shocked by something, but if you do roll for shock you're going to take a notch, the only question is if you get more crazy or more detached.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    -3.5 D&D
    -Make martial characters a lot more wuxia, possibly redefining skills

    That's it. To paraphrase the quote of some guy on the paizo forums: "It'd be good if we could shift the discussion from 'The fighter sucks and needs magic to be playable' to 'The fighter is such a bad--- everybody has to use magic to keep up"

    D&D 3.5 is just a low-magic game, but 75% of everything is a magic-user.
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    Going to see how well I am at making homebrew.
    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

    "I hope that you don't get the impression that I would munchkin the rules if I was in a D&D world IRL... Even though I totally would" -Myself

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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Ability Scores

    * Eliminate the "Wisdom" ability score and add "Perception". Any game rules that used Wisdom for "force of personality" (Will saves, cleric stuff) uses Charisma instead; anything that used Wisdom as "perception" (Perception skills, Monk AC bonuses) uses Perception instead.

    * Eliminate the number values (3-18+) and instead just use the bonuses. Instead of a STR of 18, you have a STR of +4.

    Magic

    *Everyone is highly specialized. Clerics get two domains that they cast from and they can cast no other spells. Wizards get one "school" and a universal school that they can cast from (and nothing else). Schools would be redefined for balance and some new thematic ones (like "fire" or "cold") would be added. Sorcerers might still be allowed to cast from any schools, but they're also still limited in the number of spells they know. (This would also give PCs a reason to seek out a "sage" or "diviner" since most PCs wouldn't have access to divination schools unless that's ALL they want their character to be able to do.

    Monsters

    *Every aspect of monster design is going to assume that players might be playing monsters as PCs.

    * Since polymorph is both problematic and fun, the polymorph spell will be reworked (but not eliminated) to give bonuses to stats rather than the monster's generic stats, so all monster stat blocks will elucidate as necessary what is gained from becoming a certain monster. For example, a troll might have STR 18, but a PC doesn't get STR 18 when polymorphed into a troll. Instead, the stat block will indicate that trolls have a racial +2 bonus to STR (and then most trolls put a "16" in STR, to give them a total of 18), so a PC who turns into a troll gets +2 STR. (Except that would be rephrased to take into account that we wouldn't have "18" STR anymore in this new system, as noted in the second bulleted point above.)
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2018-06-05 at 09:03 PM.

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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    3. Skills have elaborate mini-games for diplomacy, locks/traps, magic, etc. Many of these are not dice based
    I would like something this, but I would keep it dice based. I want all (well, most) skills to be just as complicated as melee combat, with as many options.At least, charisma-based skills could use this sort of upgrade. It would be nice to have all sorts of charisma combat rolls to have to make, and various maneuvers to consider. Should I use "flattering lie" or "logical reasoning"? Should I try to sunder my opponent's ego or try to disarm his sharp tongue?
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2018-06-05 at 09:14 PM.

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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    I would like something this, but I would keep it dice based. I want all (well, most) skills to be just as complicated as melee combat, with as many options.At least, charisma-based skills could use this sort of upgrade. It would be nice to have all sorts of charisma combat rolls to have to make, and various maneuvers to consider. Should I use "flattering lie" or "logical reasoning"? Should I try to sunder my opponent's ego or try to disarm his sharp tongue?
    I'm good with that as well, I just find dice problematic as they tend to either be too important to success (5E) or not important (3.5).

    I really enjoyed some of the Arkham board games' approach.

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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    (In the order of easiest to hardest to accomplish without making something that no longer feels like D&D)

    1) Bring back priest spheres. It doesn't make sense to me for a cleric of Zeus and a cleric of Aphrodite to have the same spell list.

    2) Get rid of hit points and have damage impose conditions instead. Something very like M&M would work well for me.

    3) Social interaction rules that are unambiguous, symmetrical (that is, they don't distinguish between PCs and NPCs), and that mesh seamlessly with combat so that you try and convince an enemy to stop trying to stab you. The Firefly RPG does this, but I don't off the top of my head know how it would work in any kind of d20 system.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

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