5E A 10-Level Variant for 5E for review and work

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
@vincegetorix
@DM Magic
@Quartz
@Greenstone.Walker
(sorry if I forgot anyone...)

Well, here is some of the work I have been doing. Honestly, I am running out of ideas at present and there are lots of gaps to fill in, particularly Sorcerer and Warlocks, two classes I am not as familiar with.

So, this OP will be update and I will try to keep things organized. Now, I fully and completely realize much of what I am trying to accomplish is not what some players want. That's cool. I am fine with that. If you don't like the concept, great but please don't waste my time or your simply telling me "I don't like this." If you have comments about power-issues, balance, playability, etc. then of course please post them! I know most of you have much more experience with 5E than I do, so I'm open to suggestions.

When all is done, I'll have a pdf available for people who want it.

Thanks in advance!

1574627898498.png

1574695747726.png

1574695810675.png

1574695843294.png

1574695875063.png

1574695902420.png

1574695931534.png

1574695973239.png

1574696005978.png

1574696035363.png

1574696083248.png

1574696118253.png

1574696153692.png

1574696194418.png

1574696228330.png


The Multiclassing Option will be added later.
 
Last edited:

Esker

Hero
Some interesting things here, for sure.

Quick initial thought from the first page: by getting rid of ASIs and building in an AC bonus to every class, you're making heavy armor more valuable than it would be, since its base AC doesn't depend on boosting stats.

On top of that, each additional point of AC is worth more than the one before (see my post from yesterday on "RTU"), and so that extra boost is worth way more to characters that would already have high ACs, regardless of the source.

So I'm definitely wary of that aspect from a balance perspective.
 

Esker

Hero
Quick take #2: Monks and rangers get a little screwed. They're already on the weaker side as classes go, and you're not giving them much of anything new (in contrast to most other classes).

Sorcerer gets showered in goodies, otoh. Some of those new features seem too strong to me. Maybe this is designed to make it so nobody would ever pick bard, since the sorcerer gets better versions of magical secrets and some of the better bardic inspiration options. Being able to change the saving throw of a spell is reallly strong. INT saves for most things! DEX saves vs dragons! STR saves vs wizards!
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Still reviewing. I like a lot of the ideas for the class compression, but I feel like making so many other changes along side the class compression (changing Prof Bonus, the way Hit Points are gained, adding a level based AC bonus) detracts from your overall concept. Most of those changes you've included are modular anyway, and don't impact the class compression.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Thanks @Esker . Yes, this is all VERY MUCH still in the first phase process. Some classes I thought had enough to fill in each level, others I found lacking, still others (such as Monk and Ranger) have enough to fill in the gaps, but then aren't strong classes in some respects, so I would be happy to amend them.

The Magic In All Things feature for Sorcerer will likely be changed, FWIW, to keep it separate from Magical Secrets of the Bard. I just haven't figured out how to change it yet. ;)
 

Quartz

Adventurer
Well, here is some of the work I have been doing. Honestly, I am running out of ideas at present and there are lots of gaps to fill in, particularly Sorcerer and Warlocks, two classes I am not as familiar with.
Wow. I sit in awe. My first impression is that that is a real good start.

With regards to Expertise and similar abilities you might weant to change that to a plain +2.

I like your idea about HP. You might want to give the PC the option of using the Proficiency Bonus if it's greater than the sum of the two modifiers.

The Fighter is getting screwed a bit: Indomitable is a relatively weak ability. You might add in something from one of the other pillars.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Wow. I sit in awe. My first impression is that that is a real good start.

With regards to Expertise and similar abilities you might weant to change that to a plain +2.

I like your idea about HP. You might want to give the PC the option of using the Proficiency Bonus if it's greater than the sum of the two modifiers.

The Fighter is getting screwed a bit: Indomitable is a relatively weak ability. You might add in something from one of the other pillars.
Cool. Good ideas. If you have any thoughts for Fighters, please let me know.
 

Esker

Hero
Something else to think about: I'm not sure you need to fill in features at every level for all classes. For full casters, getting access to a new spell level is their class feature at many levels. Classes that get some extras on top of that are getting some minor things; mostly small scalings of their other abilities. Giving full casters extra full-fledged class features at the same time they get a new spell level exacerbates caster's dominance at higher levels.
 
Design notes saying why you are making these changes would help.

As written, you are doubling offence/level and leaving defence mostly static. And you are adding nearly random additional buffs that do not seem to correlate with, well, anything in particular.

A large structural change, and random non-structural changes, and zilch reasoning makes me think this isn't useful.
 

DM Magic

Explorer
My initial though is, if the point of this is to get to the meat of the game quicker, why not just gain two levels when otherwise you would gain one? Then you don’t have to change or alter any rules.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Still reviewing. I like a lot of the ideas for the class compression, but I feel like making so many other changes along side the class compression (changing Prof Bonus, the way Hit Points are gained, adding a level based AC bonus) detracts from your overall concept. Most of those changes you've included are modular anyway, and don't impact the class compression.
My thoughts exactly. The core idea of compressing the 1-20 progression to 10 levels is really cool on its own. The other changes I am much less interested in. Would be cool to see a version of this paired waaaaaaaaay down to its most fundamental form.
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
Posted just to follow it.

I'm not sure I'd hard-code rolling for hp into this. I like the variant (especially since it means dumping Con is now an option without making Con useless), but if someone doesn't want to roll, why force them?

Also: where are warlocks?
 
Sorcerers extra is metamagic. Warlocks is invocations. Both don't show up as line items, but are awesome.

Make metamagic points clumpy if you need stuff to shove on blank lines?
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
LOL I love all the feedback. I want everyone to know that even if I don't get a chance to reply to everything, I am reading every post, and I will do my best to respond.

Something else to think about: I'm not sure you need to fill in features at every level for all classes. For full casters, getting access to a new spell level is their class feature at many levels. Classes that get some extras on top of that are getting some minor things; mostly small scalings of their other abilities. Giving full casters extra full-fledged class features at the same time they get a new spell level exacerbates caster's dominance at higher levels.
Yes, casters spells are a big feature. But I can't allow new spell levels to be the sum of their features because they get them every level but 10th. Even if the boosts they gain aren't powerful, I want them to get something.

On a related note, I am all in favor for giving other classes something as well to balance it out.

Design notes saying why you are making these changes would help.

As written, you are doubling offence/level and leaving defence mostly static. And you are adding nearly random additional buffs that do not seem to correlate with, well, anything in particular.

A large structural change, and random non-structural changes, and zilch reasoning makes me think this isn't useful.
The big design elements are removing ASIs and increasing proficiency so the game remains balanced in terms of every thing else. Also, I think characters have too many HP, especially at higher levels. Finally, many games seem to teeter off before reaching higher levels so those features are never or hardly ever experienced.

Defense IS mostly static in 5E, as reflected in the idea that ever increasing HP makes up for it. I have removed some of the HP, but added an AC bonus by level. Again, I am trying to rebuild character classes while keeping it balanced with the rest of 5E.

My initial though is, if the point of this is to get to the meat of the game quicker, why not just gain two levels when otherwise you would gain one? Then you don’t have to change or alter any rules.
Actually, it should be obvious that was my jumping off point. But in removing ASIs and some of the other changes, I decided it would be better to restructure things into 10 levels. I also wanted to fill in the gaps for classes where not having ASIs made them feel empty. So, I've included several house-ruled ideas. Ultimately, some will go, some will stay, and new ones will be added.

This is primarily an exercise in game design since I do enjoying tinkering with 5E (I am a gnome at heart! :) )

My thoughts exactly. The core idea of compressing the 1-20 progression to 10 levels is really cool on its own. The other changes I am much less interested in. Would be cool to see a version of this paired waaaaaaaaay down to its most fundamental form.
Considering the 9 spell levels, 10 levels was the least I could get it down to. Now, if I was designing something more in line with what most tables do (max 8-10 levels out of 20), I could see getting it down to 6 maybe.

The modular changes such as proficiency, HP, and AC are to try to keep this in balance with the current 5E rules. Otherwise, I would have to make even more adjustments to other areas. These changes might work and they might not, just my first take on it.

Posted just to follow it.

I'm not sure I'd hard-code rolling for hp into this. I like the variant (especially since it means dumping Con is now an option without making Con useless), but if someone doesn't want to roll, why force them?

Also: where are warlocks?
LOL Warlocks are coming! If not tonight, then tomorrow sometime.

The HP is hardcoded for the type of game I play, and want to try out with this. Maxing out HP, especially beyond level one, might work ok or might not. Some players like static HP, I don't. When this is done, if you want to try it, you can certainly do so with static HP of course.

Personally, I LOVE the variant idea of two scores (CON plus one other) modifying hit points given the abstract nature they represent. It is one of the best ideas IMO and something I will probably pull into my regular 5E game whether I stick with this or not. :)

Sorcerers extra is metamagic. Warlocks is invocations. Both don't show up as line items, but are awesome.

Make metamagic points clumpy if you need stuff to shove on blank lines?
The metamagics are in the sorcerer's table, especially Metamagic Mastery. I love metamagic a lot and warlock invocations. I would love to see more done with both of them in terms of feature abilities.

But I find many of the invocations unimpressive so I am not sure what to do with them. This is one of the reasons why Warlocks haven't been added yet.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Quick take #2: Monks and rangers get a little screwed. They're already on the weaker side as classes go, and you're not giving them much of anything new (in contrast to most other classes).

Sorcerer gets showered in goodies, otoh. Some of those new features seem too strong to me. Maybe this is designed to make it so nobody would ever pick bard, since the sorcerer gets better versions of magical secrets and some of the better bardic inspiration options. Being able to change the saving throw of a spell is reallly strong. INT saves for most things! DEX saves vs dragons! STR saves vs wizards!
Sorry, Spell Secrets was there for consideration but won't make the final cut for Sorcerers. As I said in my other response, Magic In All Things will stay, but a new concept will be added for it so Bards aren't infringed upon. Also, we don't have any Bards, but I like the idea so we added it to Sorcerers for a while.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
I like the general direction. Keeping it at 10 levels works in regards to power levels of 5e 1-20 from what you've written I think, but why choose a Bard if you have Sorcerer?

If we want the Bard to actually be a Jack of All Trades I think Bards need the extra attack as well, just like you give Rogues and Clerics.

Rangers need a bit more oomph as well I think.

Part of my thoughts on the weakness of the classes may also be because I'm not quite clear on your (optional) subclass idea. If you could explain that better (subclass is archtype?...you get to select various features from different archtypes? I'm not positive I understand how this idea works).
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
I like the general direction. Keeping it at 10 levels works in regards to power levels of 5e 1-20 from what you've written I think, but why choose a Bard if you have Sorcerer?

If we want the Bard to actually be a Jack of All Trades I think Bards need the extra attack as well, just like you give Rogues and Clerics.

Rangers need a bit more oomph as well I think.

Part of my thoughts on the weakness of the classes may also be because I'm not quite clear on your (optional) subclass idea. If you could explain that better (subclass is archtype?...you get to select various features from different archtypes? I'm not positive I understand how this idea works).
Thanks. I know some of it is a bit confusing still because this isn't a finished draft. I wasn't certain if I would have time to finish it before the end of the weekend, but I really wanted to start getting some feedback.

I'll update Sorcerer so people don't think it steps on Bards' toes.

I agree many classes, Rangers being one of them, need more so I am open to suggestions.

The subclasses (general term) are archetypes, oaths, domains, or whatever term your class uses. I'll add a concrete example later tonight to help with any confusion. Multiclassing is part of this in some ways, so that will be there as well.
 

Esker

Hero
Yes, casters spells are a big feature. But I can't allow new spell levels to be the sum of their features because they get them every level but 10th. Even if the boosts they gain aren't powerful, I want them to get something.
As far as I remember, all the full casters get something at every even level, whether from their base class or their subclass. Part of the issue is that a lot of those are ASIs and you're getting rid of those, and the other part is that most of the rest are subclass features, and you're not listing "subclass feature" in the class table, so if would look pretty empty if you didn't add something.

But in terms of actual features gained, if you just took the most naive approach and collapsed levels 1-2 into 1, 3-4 into 2, etc., then your new levels 2, 4, 6 and 8 would be just new spell levels, whereas levels 1, 3, 5, and 7 would have new spell levels plus subclass features, whereas level 9 would have a new spell level plus Spell Mastery. Now, in many people's opinions (mine included), odd spell levels are a bigger deal than even ones, so this distribution would make the progression feel uneven, and so I'd personally rather see subclass features lined up with even spell levels (maybe you pick your subclass at level 1, but you only get one of the first set of features then, and you get the rest at level 2? IIRC, most subclasses give more than one feature when you first pick it).

I agree with the other posters that said that it would be useful to separate the level-compression proposal from the new class features you're adding, since they really do stand separately, it seems to me.
 

Advertisement

Top