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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Hey, is this a spinoff thread? Lemme throw out my most expensive pearl of wisdom at it.

    Make up your mind. Is it supposed to be an abstracted combat game with some roleplayly bits attached? Is it supposed to be a deeply detailed simulation of a fantasy world? Is it supposed to be a collaborative storytelling game with sometimes rolling a few dice? What do you even want? Without finding a %100 definite answer to that, anything you do will end up just as wishywashy a mess as regular DnD.

    Me? I say pick option 1 and let everything grow from it.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I've made a rough draft of a roadmap recently to follow after I finish running my current 3.5 campaign. The issue is basically this: casters have all the narrative powers, even the ones nobody needs, and martials don't have anything that's better than 4th or 5th level spells, much less 7-9th level.

    So far, the presumed plan is:
    • Use Pathfinder as a base (prevents Polymorph/Shapechange abuse, has a somewhat better low-OP baseline for Barbarians/(Unchained) Monks.
    • Comb the spell-lists (not as tough as it looks, since most spells betray their purpose by name and can be counted on to be fine) and remove everything that shouldn't be a spell cast with spell-slots at all, making most things that would still be useful into rituals anyone can use. I'm one third of the way through the PHB, so that might take a while unless I devote more time to it, but just to demonstrate, I'll list PHB spells starting with A that I would remove from spell lists:
      Arcane Sight, Greater (use Arcane Sight+Analyze Dweomer); Astral Projection (probably a very expensive ritual), Atonement (don't screw paladins over and give them a full redemption quest, and if they need Atonement regularly, either you or they are doing something wrong), Augury (made into a ritual, accessible to everyone), Awaken (also a ritual, but Druid-Ranger-Nature Cleric only).
    • Remove Wizards, Sorcerers, default Clerics, Fighters. Anything that doesn't specify at least some measure of a concept shouldn't exist in a class-concept-based game. Use Beguiler-type fixed list casters for arcane magic, refurbished Cloistered Clerics and Oracles for divine magic. Sorcerous bloodlines introduced as 1st-level arcane magic feats if you want that flavour.
    • Analyze the bonus types (enhancement, competence, circumstance, luck, etc.) and combine them into four distinct types (enhancement for magic, competence for raw skill, circumstance for opportune moments, untyped for those rare things that don't work with none of the former) which stack with each other but not themselves. Might not work out, but it's an idea I've been kicking around for a while.
    • Comb the feat list, at least the PHB+PHB2+PF SRD, and combine most of the feats related to each other into more powerful versions. As in, Skill Focus (Acrobatics) also includes Leap of the Heavens; Weapon Focus applies to weapon groups, includes Weapon Specialization and scales with level; Dodge is Dodge+Mobility, also (slightly) scaling with level. Metamagic feats, item crafting feats, etc. don't get buffs.
    • Introduce a remade version of the Automatic Bonus Progression with all that entails - no Big Six items. ABP needs to be reworked and give better bonuses.
    • Use Unchained skill unlocks without feats. 2+Int skills per level get buffed to 4+Int universally. Rogues might get 10+Int as bragging rights points. Check if any class needs improvements to their skill list.
    • PoW and ToB are on the table, meshed together, some disciplines combined due to thematics and mechanics (Primal Fury+Tiger Claw or Shadow Hand+Veiled Moon).


    I think this should rebalance the curve a bit - casters are still good at magic and unorthodox tactics, martials are incredible at breaking face and can still have a fortune-teller at low levels, use skills to do superhuman things, and so on. The desired balance point is basically high T3-low T2.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Fixing D&D... to be honest, i would not want to do it at all. I don't think D&D is a particularly good game and if i ever would create my own rule system, i would certainly not take it as a starting point at all. There might be some ideas that i might take as Inspiration though, like Gestalt parallel progression.

    The main character structure and progression would be similar to Splittermond. Point buy with tiered abilities requiring total xp to buy. Skills as main main structure, with feat like specialities that can be bought at certain levels. Magic as schools as skills.

    But now you ask ? What, classless point buy ? How does that work with Gestalt ? Well, the answer is that i would want my system to be able to do certain stuff that other systems are bad in. That is easy transition between individual scale conflict to large scale conflict. Leading armies, ruling countries, managing trade empires magically manipulating the climate of a whole country via ley lines and rituals, building a fortress.
    That all is stuff people do in the fiction that RPGs simulate. But most RPGs suck at it. More than half don't even try, many others have some half-assed, broken mechanics that are so bad that people use handwaving instead and only the rest are kinda good at it but usually fail at everything else because they are wargames/economy sims with RPG elements attached.
    I knew i wanted all those abilities in my game. But i really don't want people to be able to specialize in individual or large scale conlicts. I don't want someone to become a better fighter by dumping all administrative/leadership abilities and thus become overpowered when the PCs act alone and useless when the armies are moved. Spezialization is fine but having optimal builds that might not be able to do anything for whole sessions are bad.
    That is why individual scale and large scale powers get a different point buy budget and can't be traded for each other. That way it is ensured that the group is roughly equally powerfull regardless of the exact conflict scale that is used at the moment. That also makes it easier to simulate different kind of premises. You could have seasoned adventurers that just now earned a keep and start dabbling in politics. You could have an emporer and his administrative staff who are still not better in single combat than an ordinary guard and might be challenged if they have to do some spywork themself instead of just sending someone else. Having different pools for individual scale abilities and large scale abilities allows finetuning power levels of your characters to the setting premise.

    Resolution system would be several dice, at least three, to get a proper distribution. But i would probably not use a dice system per se as i am not happy with variance increasing with skill level.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    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:
    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.
    I'm interested in hearing how that worked out. Personally, I would find it frustrating, as it would be akin to imagining that the PCs have lived in a cave their whole lives and know nothing of the world they inhabit. I'm okay with refluffing uncommon or exotic creatures and the players knowing nothing about it. But it seems that you've been refluffing a lot of common stuff that the characters should know something of, even if it's vague.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Well I wouldn't start at D&D. You familiar with Savage Rifts? Frameworks are basically classes, so to "fix" D&D, I would just create fantasy frameworks that act as classes, add magic item crafting mechanics (what an item does and how much it cost is already rules. It's players making it that I would add), after that it depends on what kind of D&D you want to play.

    For 2e, I would use the Hellfrost crunch.

    For 3.x, I would add the Shaintar book's crunch.

    For 4e, I would use Savage Showdown (wargame rules) instead with free form roleplaying.

    For 5e, I wouldn't add anything, but I would use the Power pointless variant spellcasting rules to add more strategic uses to magic.

    Notable differences from D&D: No hit points, magic doesn't replace skills, exploding damage dice means any attack could kill you.
    I play SW like I play/run D&D, it's just easier to run for me.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    I'm interested in hearing how that worked out. Personally, I would find it frustrating, as it would be akin to imagining that the PCs have lived in a cave their whole lives and know nothing of the world they inhabit.
    Close enough. It actually assumed that they had lived in an isolated village deep in a haunted forest for their whole 14 years of life. From the same document:

    Spoiler: Spoilered for length
    Show
    You will begin as first level characters with very little knowledge of the outside world. Your character is just barely adult – 14 years old. You all know each other well, having grown up in the same tiny village. Everyone in this village grows their own food, and it’s rare to see anybody from outside the village, or anything not made in the village. There is a smith, a village priest, but very few other specialists.

    You are friends, even if you choose to have very different outlooks, because almost everybody else in the village, and absolutely everyone else anywhere near your age, are dull villagers, with little imagination.

    By contrast, you and your friends sometimes stare down the road, or into the forest, wondering what the world is like.

    The world is basically early medieval. You all speak a single language for which you (reasonably) have no name. If you learn another language, you’ll know more about what that means.

    It’s a really small village. There are fewer than 100 people living there, which is smaller than it used to be. There are chickens, goats, sheep, a couple of oxen, but no horses or cows.

    The village has a single road going out of town to the north and south, and you’ve never been on it. The only travel on it occurs when a few wagons go off to take food to market – and even that hasn’t happened in the last few seasons. Very rarely, a traveler may come through, and spend the night with the priest. You have all greedily listened to any stories these travelers tell. Your parents say this isn’t good for you – what’s here in the village is good enough for you, and all travelers are always liars, anyway.

    A stream runs through the village. (This is primarily so you can learn fishing if you desire.) There are also a few wells.

    The village is surrounded by a haunted forest nearby. You have occasionally gone a few hundred feet into it on a dare, but no further, and never at night. I will modify this (slightly) for any character who wishes to start as a Druid or Ranger. Nobody gets to know the modification unless they choose one of those classes.

    Three times in your lifetime the village has been raided at night from the forest. You were children, and were kept safe in a cellar. Some villagers have died, but by the time you were let out, whatever the attackers were had fled or been buried.

    There is very little overlap between the D&D adventurer class “Cleric” and the average priest. Most priests will have about as much magical ability as seen in medieval stories, i.e. no more than anyone else. (If you want to play a cleric, let me know. There’s a way we will handle it, but no player except one with a cleric PC will know about it.)

    Similarly, not all thieves are in the Thief class, not all bards are in the Bard class, etc. Most fighters are “0th level”. There might be a fair number of 1st level Fighters; anybody else with levels will be uncommon. If you meet a bard on your travels, he will probably be a singer/harpist with no adventurer skills or class.

    There is an old witch at the edge of the village. Your parents disapprove of her, call her a fraud, and are afraid of her. Everybody knows that the crop blight three years ago was because she was mad at the village.

    The old folks in the village sometimes talk about how much better it was long ago. There was real travel, and real trade. Nobody knows what happened since.

    You have heard many mutually conflicting tales of all kinds of marvelous heroes. You may assume that you have heard of any story of any hero you like – Gilgamesh, Oddysseus, Sigurd, Taliesin, Charlemagne, Lancelot, Robin Hood, Aragorn, Prester John, Baba Yaga, Prince Ōkuninushi, Br’er Rabbit, anyone. The old stories seem to imply that occasionally there have been several Ages of Heroes. Your parents don’t think these tales are good for you. Takes your mind off farming.



    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    I'm okay with refluffing uncommon or exotic creatures and the players knowing nothing about it. But it seems that you've been refluffing a lot of common stuff that the characters should know something of, even if it's vague.
    The three times goblins came to their villages, the PCs never saw them. They haven't seen any other non-humans before their adventures.

    The first time the party met goblins (which are bestial and only use tactics when controlled by a forceful leader), they discovered that the goblins just charged them, and then tried to flee as soon as one of them was injured. Then the PCs met some with a human leader, and he gave all the commands.

    So when they discovered a small town under siege by a force of fifty or more goblins, under three ogres, the party slew the three ogres, and very quickly the goblins panicked and fled. This made the PCs, at third level, the great heroes and saviors of the village, and there are now songs about them defeating an entire army.

    [They were a little flummoxed when attacked by wolf-riding goblins, who used an unexpected tactic. They tried to separate one PC away from the rest and run off with him to kill and eat later. It was awhile afterwards before one of the players recognized it as the tactic of a wolf pack, and realized that the alpha wolf was in charge, not the goblin riding him.]

    None of this kind of learning about the creatures in the world is possible if the players have read every monster's stat block.

    It seemed popular enough. Several of the players want me to get back to it.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    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.
    Eh. While I like the occasional sword and sorcery-ish low level game, I find that they get boring quite fast, at least to me. I like having dozens of spells at my disposal to solve problems, to compete on a continental scale and to just thrown in all the really out there weirdness of mid-level D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post

    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.
    See, I've played a lot of other RPGs with skill lists much longer than D&D and I've come to really like long skill lists. In a lot of games I've played, skills were a separate sheet by themselves. I mean, I agree with your assessment on skill monkeys, everyone should have tons of skills (see my 10+ skill points for everyone comment). But I also like long lists with niche skills on them.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2018-06-06 at 08:25 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    My recipe is fairly simple in concept, with a single golden rule.

    Everything must have a defence.


    At least, a reasonable defence for a character of similar level.

    Every time a build or spell or feat breaks this, I apply a ban or a nerf. There is quite a lot of stuff to ban, indeed most of the high-op play falls into that category. At the same time, it is also elastic enough that different groups have different conceptions of what has no defences.

    It is also a severe nerf for high-op casters, as the best spells are the ones against which there is no defence, and they generally don't work. Either they allow a saving throw, or a relatively cheap-for-your-level magic item will get you out of it (looking at you, forcecage), or a character of your level is unlikely to be killed/incapacitated by it, or it doesn't work. And it leveld the field pretty well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    None of this kind of learning about the creatures in the world is possible if the players have read every monster's stat block.
    Why not? a monster's statblock tells nothing of the tactics it will use. Sure, the manual contains some instructions, but it's more as an help for an unexperienced DM who doesn't know how to handle stuff. And everything about society is completely refluffable. In my world goblins have a nation, and a fairly powerful one too. There's half a dozen to a dozen goblins past level 15, and they are as well equipped as any adventurer of the same level. they are currently allied with the players, as the outcome of a subplot that started when at second level a player decided to not kill a goblin straggler but to recruit him as a cohort.
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I introduced one change in original D&D. It didn't change anything about play, except to get rid of one inconsistency.

    I changed "Intelligence" to "in-world knowledge and magic ability", and "wisdom" to "divine ability".

    There's no point saying a character has a wisdom of 16 and an intelligence of 18 if the player keeps having him make foolish decisions. And there's no point saying another character has as Intelligence of 4 if she's the one who solves all the puzzles and mysteries.

    Your character is no wiser than you are, for the same reason that your knight in chess doesn't make more tactical moves than you make.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I know exactly what I'd do, and I'd try to keep DnD as close to the source/Broad and applicable to everyone's game rather than just my own (though I've still got a few things that might be my own biases)

    Based off of 5e, I'll try to keep it mostly backwards compatible.
    I would, however, consider bringing the older skill system back. 5e doesn't give enough skills. But ignoring that.

    Str- some additions
    Dex-some additions
    Con-fine
    Int- Each modifier gives additional skills, Negative modifiers might be a thing if each class gets an extra skill anyway.
    Wis-fine
    Cha-Fine.

    Pointbuy- Increase the high and low cap for more diverse characters.

    Weapons.
    Some Range weapons will have strength requirements, and there will be incremental versions of such (Hunting bow, short bow, Long bow, war bow, great bow or something as such) Slings get more love.
    For melee weapons, pointless distinctions will disappear (Halberd/Glaive and Scimitar/shortsword) and some weapons will be capable of switching damage types. Polearms need revision, and any it will be noted that any martial weapon without light/finess properties can have versatile for a few extra coins. In fact I'd put up a formula for creating weapons. Oh and the greatclub does a d10.

    I believe very early firearms should be in the PHB, though it's very obvious that the weapons in the DMG have very silly stats and shouldn't be used. The advantage of modern small arms isn't how damaging they are, but how easy they are to use. (also, Guns are loud,smokey and terrifying)

    Armour (obviously the use of international english is important here!)
    Bucklers for +1
    Tower shields as a +2 in combat but can count as superior cover if focused on such.

    When it comes to armour it's mostly terminology. I want to scrap leather armour/studded leather armour. It's a garbage fantasy trope. It's not real and it's tacky. I'd like to rename them as "superior light armour" and "reinforced light armour" and maybe hide can be Thick Padding (hide/fur/Textile)
    Ring mail is in a similar boat (a lesser offender, since nobody gets it) perhaps "crude armour"
    Scale could be Scale/Laminar but then it could get confused with splint

    Light armour should be proficient for everyone.
    It should be assumed that people with heavy armour should be able to strip down to medium and then light armour. Nothing should stack, only the highest protection should count, though enchantments from an under-layer should often stay relevant.

    CLASSES
    Scrap the Monk and make him a Fighter archtype, perhaps the other martials too.
    Give all fighter Archtypes superiority dice, but less and smaller than the battlemaster.
    Give the martial classes proficiency with unarmed strikes.
    Rename the barbarian to Beserker and vary the background examples a bit; The class Works perfectly for certain warrior monks or intellectual steroid abusers.
    I've never liked the class, but I'm sure there's ways to make the ranger less lame.
    Competitively rebalance all the subclasses against eachother. I should be reading optimiser guides that give everything blue ratings.
    Magic subclasses that use INT should adhere closer to wizard principles.
    The bladelock should stand on it's own

    FEATS
    There's some obviously useless ones. I shouldn't need to cover them. Martial adept needs to give more dice and more maneuvers, Magic adept should be repeatable. Lucky is clearly broken.

    Backgrounds.
    I feel like there should be a box that says "if you want to do this quickly, pick two skills, two language/item skills, one advantage, and then justify it" You can then add the starting gear from X economic band.

    MAGIC
    Obviously there's some spells that could be rebalanced. But let's talk about what isn't there.
    -While I don't think any spell (wall of force) should be permanent, I do think it should be more possible to make long term magical creatures and selected spells should have permanency options-
    Create Larger undead needs to be a thing
    Players should be able to achieve anything NPCs can given the right class.
    -Wards that negate of AOEs (like fireball) are absolutely necessary for castle warfare. Counterspell can only take you so far.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Many suggestions for "fixing" D&D that I've seen in this and many other threads may fit a pattern:

    Backgrounds not "Classes"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More skills?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    Based on individual abilities not "Levels"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More realistic "gritty" combat?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Non "Vancian" magic?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Can someone help me spot the pattern?
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Start with a 3.5 chasis. 3.5 is EASILY the best d&d edition. Switch to most pathfinder updates.

    Build a point buy system for racial traits being able to pick up all sorts of generic and racial specific items.

    Make a customizable option point buy class system on level up.

    Utilize the 2e psionic rules for spells instead of spell levels making a system of prereqs. Make the whole overall system use 3e psionic powerpoints. All of this tying back to the point buy class system.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    Start with a 3.5 chasis. 3.5 is EASILY the best d&d edition. Switch to most pathfinder updates.

    Build a point buy system for racial traits being able to pick up all sorts of generic and racial specific items.

    Make a customizable option point buy class system on level up.

    Utilize the 2e psionic rules for spells instead of spell levels making a system of prereqs. Make the whole overall system use 3e psionic powerpoints. All of this tying back to the point buy class system.

    I haven't played either, but that sounds like the 3.5 variant Mutants & Masterminds

    Or if you want to go back to 1985 Fantasy Hero which was based on the earlier Champions.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    1) Have a single universal resource that everyone gains as they level. We will call it essence. This resource is used for other subsystems to tie into, and used as a balancing tool. The expectation is that basically anything supernatural a character does takes up essence. So you have spellcasting ability? Invest essence into it to be able to cast those spells. You have a Magic Sword? Invest essence in it to unlock its potential. You have some sort of ancient heritage/special race? Invest essence to unlock the cool stuff from that. Bigger/more powerful features (Like spellcasting) either take more essence (ie invest all of your essence into spellcasting to keep a full progression), or have more places to invest essence (say it costs essence for each spell slot or spell known), to keep things relatively balanced.

    2) Each 'power source', to borrow 4e terminology, uses a different subsystem. So a Wizard's Magic works fundamentally differently from a Cleric's Magic, which are both fairly different from how Psionics functions. Altogether I would expect about 5 different subsystems with all classes falling under one of the 5.

    3) Find some use for odd stats. One idea I toyed with for a time was providing a long list of minor perks (think mini-feats or skill tricks) that unlock based off odd stats. Actually seems like a good place to put the more boring number fixing stats. 12 dex gets you a +1 dex mod, 13 dex gets you a +1 dex mod and you can pick up weapon finesse with your new perk. Something along those lines.

    4) Bring back healing surges from 4e, but make them more limited. Drop them to 3/day, with feats/perks that can increase that. Make them take longer to recover. I would make the change from 4e such that healing potions don't require a surge, but also find some way to limit the number of healing potions a party can carry. Say have a max number of potions you can carry without them causing magical interference, with the ability to spend essence to increase that cap if desired.

    5) Update the skill system to balance the utility between different attributes. I would aim for 3-4 active skills linked with each attribute. Constitution may end up being cut as an attribute, as a purely defensive attribute that everybody wants high, but not as a primary, does not contribute much to the game overall. Instead allow for more traits/feats that can push health/healing up and down to provide the desired diversity in character durability.

    6) Differentiate Active Skills and Background skills. Things like Knowledge and Craft should not be competing with Tumble and Athletics. Let Intelligence give extra background skills, but have active skills set based on what you expect the character to do.

    7) If I really wanted to go way out there, I would implement some sort of vitality/wounds system. I invested a lot of time and effort coming up with one that seemed reasonable and balance, but ultimately discarded it because it was a pain to run. This one will probably have to wait until the inevitable D&D 7.0, Rise of the Machine DMs.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Eh. While I like the occasional sword and sorcery-ish low level game, I find that they get boring quite fast, at least to me. I like having dozens of spells at my disposal to solve problems, to compete on a continental scale and to just thrown in all the really out there weirdness of mid-level D&D.
    On the other hand I find that a lot of people get overwhelmed by Wizard play and resort to fireballs because they're simple.

    Not that a magician in my game can't have dozens of spells. Sure, they begin with five and as standard gain two a level, but that's just the ones they've committed to memory and can cast quickly. A magician (or elf) can cast any spell of their tradition if they have it written down, it just takes five times as long. You don't want to be relying on written spells, because they can be taken away easily, but they're there as an option.

    But yes, different styles are good. I have, however, found that D&D really does give too many world in a lot of instances.

    See, I've played a lot of other RPGs with skill lists much longer than D&D and I've come to really like long skill lists. In a lot of games I've played, skills were a separate sheet by themselves. I mean, I agree with your assessment on skill monkeys, everyone should have tons of skills (see my 10+ skill points for everyone comment). But I also like long lists with niche skills on them.
    I found it worked well in GURPS, but there if I don't have skill X I might be able to substitute a skill I have at a lower rating. It doesn't work in systems where I need Interpretive Dance, but all I have is Acting, Tap Dancing, and Unicycle, and can't substitute any of them.

    Plus 10+ skill points doesn't mean anything by itself. The standard D&D 3.5 skill list is what, 30ish skills, not including individual Crafts or Professions, maybe 40, and characters tend to get around 4-6 skill points a level (as an average across most classes). Therefore if you have 300 skills but the average character gets 12 skill points a level characters will be less skilled in average.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I introduced one change in original D&D. It didn't change anything about play, except to get rid of one inconsistency.

    I changed "Intelligence" to "in-world knowledge and magic ability", and "wisdom" to "divine ability".

    There's no point saying a character has a wisdom of 16 and an intelligence of 18 if the player keeps having him make foolish decisions. And there's no point saying another character has as Intelligence of 4 if she's the one who solves all the puzzles and mysteries.

    Your character is no wiser than you are, for the same reason that your knight in chess doesn't make more tactical moves than you make.
    Once of the interesting ideas I've seen is Intelligence allowing you to have packed anything from the mundane equipment list that weighs less than Xlbs and costs less than Ygp. It works out fairly well in the right groups.
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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

    I have been collecting "fixes" and changes for years now.

    All of these have gone towards one overriding purpose - it's a two-parter:
    1. Aesthetic:
      I want my game to feel like epic(in the etymological sense of the word). I want that aesthetic found in ancient greek myths, where the world is largely unknown, mystical powers roam everywhere, heroes go on grand quests and the gods meddle with mortalkind in all manner of ways.
    2. Design:
      I have this belief that what makes a game fun is the ability to make multiple meaningful decisions in any situation. This means characters whose only option is "go there and hit it with a stick" or variations thereof are the worst possible characters ever.


    To that end, many of the changes I've made include things that increase the lower tiers options.

    I reduce feat taxes drastically, I use weapon groups, I use PF's skill system, I grant extra skill points, actions points are reserved for martials(gained through martial combat and cannot augment casting), I use(and expand) called shots, BAB offers a ton of side benefits apart from attack bonus(proficiencies, scaling AC, etc). And a ton of other bits spanning all parts of the game.

    All of this aimed at the goal of making martials effective at their niche as a baseline, rather than after spending every character resource available to them to get there. Instead they can now be spent on developing a unique personal combat style, rather than merely staying competitive.

    You'll note that nowhere in here do I ever mention nerfing casters or balance. Although balance is important, it is secondary. And nerfing casters is a poor proposition for balance, no one likes having their toys taken away. Though they didn't escape the nerf hammer - I made polymorph require knowledge and a piece of the creature and defensive casting is significantly harder(requiring better positioning).
    My attempt at non-awful fumble rules
    Arcane Archer minimal fix
    Expanding the Pathfinder Called Shots system
    ͼͽ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    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...'
    It is odd, but this makes me want to play it more than almost anything else I have had about it. The particular setting of the game never grabbed me (a little bit too scattered I think) but the mindset this shows sounds hopeful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    It is odd, but this makes me want to play it more than almost anything else I have had about it. The particular setting of the game never grabbed me (a little bit too scattered I think) but the mindset this shows sounds hopeful.
    Honestly, if you don't like the setting don't get it, but we could do with more games that treat combat as dangerous and often not worth it.

    My university group's first campaign was Unknown Armies, and it affected the way we played everything else. We went in ready to use our 30-40% combat skills and a bunch of modifiers to deal with what we were warned was a combat heavy (but firearms light) game, and after the second session started avoiding combat. This carried over to our next game, where only the new guy made a combat character and everybody else took ALL THE SOCIAL SKILLS. Never again did we enter a fight without a 'let's be reasonable about this', eventually causing the GM in one campaign to mention that yes, he had combat encounters, but because we played this way we'd managed to blunder past every single one. Playing in a way where you literally expect every combat to be a potential TPK is very fun, it really changes the way your characters act and a high intimidate skill can make drawing a weapon fight-ending. It ended up with our superheroes trying to ask the hulk expy to be reasonable about this, please stop smashing up the street...

    To be explicit, these are the six ways Unknown Armies recommends to avoid combat:
    -Surrender
    -Disarm
    -Deescalate/re-channel
    -Pass the buck
    -Call the cops
    -Run away and don't look back until you're sure they've stopped pursuing you
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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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    Rather, because the setting is kind of scattered it hasn't really come together to hook me in. Although yeah most of it so far has been in the range from "I could work with that" to mildly interesting. But sometimes it just takes a little thing. FATE hit my number 1 slot of new systems to try with:

    Rivers of Gold: No Situation can prevent access to your Resources skill. If stripped of positions and thrown into jail you can bribe the guards. Stranded on a desert island you will be living in luxury within a week.
    -Paraphrased from FATE System Toolkit.

    You just turned bad RAW into a superpower. That I kind of want to use. That is awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Many suggestions for "fixing" D&D that I've seen in this and many other threads may fit a pattern:

    Backgrounds not "Classes"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More skills?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    Based on individual abilities not "Levels"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More realistic "gritty" combat?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Non "Vancian" magic?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Can someone help me spot the pattern?
    Yeah, but i don't like RuneQuest!

    Look, if I knew what I liked, I'd be playing that instead. But I keep coming back to 3.5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post


    I found it worked well in GURPS, but there if I don't have skill X I might be able to substitute a skill I have at a lower rating. It doesn't work in systems where I need Interpretive Dance, but all I have is Acting, Tap Dancing, and Unicycle, and can't substitute any of them.

    Plus 10+ skill points doesn't mean anything by itself. The standard D&D 3.5 skill list is what, 30ish skills, not including individual Crafts or Professions, maybe 40, and characters tend to get around 4-6 skill points a level (as an average across most classes). Therefore if you have 300 skills but the average character gets 12 skill points a level characters will be less skilled in average.
    True, I suppose. I just mean, I'd like a skill list that is perhaps 50% longer than what D&D is now, with an option to fill in more skills in some categories like knowledge and profession, and have everyone with perhaps a few more skills than a rogue or bard has now. No one should ever have only 2 skill poitns per level.

    As for the other thing, I usually DM and at my tables "I don't have that skill, can I roll this skill instead?" is a standard exchange, so I already do that.
    And if you gaze long into an abyss, sometimes the abyss blushes and looks away.

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    Actually, the stunt that really made me want to play FATE at one time was called something like Man of a Thousand Faces and the text was something along the lines of
    Once per session, when you are not in a scene, you can declare that any non-player character in that scene is secretly you, IN DISGUISE!.
    And if you gaze long into an abyss, sometimes the abyss blushes and looks away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Actually, the stunt that really made me want to play FATE at one time was called something like Man of a Thousand Faces and the text was something along the lines of
    Once per session, when you are not in a scene, you can declare that any non-player character in that scene is secretly you, IN DISGUISE!.
    That is awesome! You've sold me on Fate. I'm going to go over to DTRPG and get it now.
    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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    Note that there's dozens and dozens of different versions of Fate, usually specific for a certain kind of game style or setting. This may be just in one kind of pulp hack.
    And if you gaze long into an abyss, sometimes the abyss blushes and looks away.

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    First I would implement a proper skill system which has been sorely lacking from most DnD editions. Then I would revamp the combat system, get rid of the bloated hitpoints, put in attack and defensive rolls and make armor mitigate damage instead of making you harder to hit because it makes no sense ("No siree didn't get hurt, the huge boulder from the trebuchet just glanced off my leather armor")

    Magic system. Make a proper system and laws of magic instead of just having them as slottable superpowers. Throw the vancian sytem into the trashcan and use mana or spell points. Just go back to using 3 kinds of Saving throw baseds on Will/Fortitude/Reflexes



    And by then I could probably just use my precious time to play something else and just call it D&D or just make a new system from scratch.
    Optimizing vs Roleplay
    If the worlds greatest optimizer makes a character and hands it to the worlds greatest roleplayer who roleplays the character. What will happen? Will the Universe implode?

    Roleplaying vs Fun
    If roleplaying is no fun then stop doing it. Unless of course you are roleplaying at gunpoint then you should roleplay like your life depended on it.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    First I would implement....

    Yet again, most of those changes sound to me like RuneQuest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    . . .and make armor mitigate damage instead of making you harder to hit because it makes no sense ("No siree didn't get hurt, the huge boulder from the trebuchet just glanced off my leather armor")
    It actually does make sense. A leather armour may not be able to stop a trebuchet's boulder, but armours were created to keep their wearer from being hurt. For instance, late 13th century mail was impervious to most weapons of that century, that's why two-handed swords became a thing (both because now warriors did not need a shield, and because two-handed swords were more capable of piercing through mail than one-handed swords). Same goes with plates, warriors did not aim for an armour's plates, they aimed for its openings. It's not that there was no way to break through armour (in fact, armours kept evolving because people kept finding ways to pierce through them), but that it is extremely hard. So if you hit an armour's strong point (say, the middle of a plate), the vast majority of the time your attack will just be deflected without any significant harm to your opponent.
    Last edited by MrSandman; 2018-06-07 at 07:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    depending on pathfinder 2e
    I'm not sufficiently familiar with 5e to know what works or not. But some thought:

    Feats that give:
    You can do [cool thing that almost never comes up enough to burn a feat on].
    without feat
    you can't do [cool thing]

    Need to be completely eliminated. You might make them "with this feat you have advantage while doing [cool thing], otherwise you have disadvantage" (although that might be too far a swing, but at least you might take the silly feat.

    [Note that this doesn't extend to day-to-day actions. Two weapon fighting makes a great feat chain, but "swinging from the chandelier" should be a common fluff move.]

    All of the "Timmy options" need to go. An open ended build system should be hard to get everything to work perfectly together. Including stupid options is largely a way to punish noobs, something no community needs to do. Obviously there has to be a "worst feat", but the penalty for taking it should be a low as possible (pile on advantages until something else becomes the "worst feat").

    Of course, this includes "non-caster classes" for anything 3e based. Not sure anyone really tries to fix this in 3e anymore.

    For a "fix Pathfinder" specific fix (that isn't much of a "fix D&D" thing): meld the game to setting and the setting to the game. It should be hard to tell where the crunch ends and the fluff begins. Advancing in classes should have in-game (non-metagaming) meaning: as clerics advance, their position in the church should advance (or perhaps this can be a separate ladder. Along with all the celestial politicking (does your mid-level cleric work with a specific angel/deva/solar? what's the angel's position with the deity and how is the player changing this)?

    Is there a "fighter's guild"? What does advancing a class in fighter mean?

    There was a recent release of Pendragon that did this amazingly well. Unfortunately, Pendragon (1.0) is basically a 1 class system (everyone is a knight) so extending it is a ton of work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    I'm not sufficiently familiar with 5e to know what works or not....

    I've played (but hardly DM'd for reasons given upthread) some 5e WD&D, and what I think would make it more fun for me is pretty much a DM issue, and good options towards what I would like are already in the DMG, but some general things to make it better for me than default 5e are:

    1) Slow down how fast PC's "level-up"

    2) Make healing slower and less easy.

    3) Make HP less and Damage more.

    4) Use the Lamentations of the Flame Princess or the Stormbringer Alignment system.

    5) More clarity about what skills apply to what tasks: Acrobatics or Athletics? Insight, Investigation, or Perception? Nature or Survival?

    There was a recent release of Pendragon that did this amazingly well. Unfortunately, Pendragon (1.0) is basically a 1 class system (everyone is a knight) so extending it is a ton of work.

    Which recent one was that?

    I got 5, but I understand that there's now a 5.1 and 5.2 (which I can't figure out how to get my FLGS to order for me, it seems I have to buy on-line myself, which I don't like doing).

    4th edition Pendragon, and some of it supplement had rules for playing Magic-Users and Saxon non-Knights, but 5th went back to a Cymric Knights focus.

    Great game, I wish it was more popular.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    It actually does make sense.
    Both ways actually make sense, but you need the right system.

    In D&D, where we don't care about where you hit, armour as defence class makes sense, and is what I'm using. Because lots of armour can absorb or deflect blows to such a degree that you don't take meaningful damage we're just simplifying by sorting into 'no meaningful damage' and 'got through/avoided armour'.

    In something like Dark Heresy, where one roll tells us if we hit and what location armour as DR makes a lot more sense.
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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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