D&D 5E Attack of the Clones: What would you want in your not-quite-5e?


The only thing I want from a 5e clone is simple, rewarding mechanisms for non-combat. 5e is not perfect but it gets combat close enough, though simpler would be better. What it lacks is any tools for non-combat, ie skill based resolutions using group checks, real incentives for roleplay over roll-play, combat adjacent rules like chases, complex traps or sound exploration rules. I would happily have them modular but would love them to be mechanically supported by class features or spells.

Think of it this way could I run and my players enjoy your game if combat was never an option. Not that I would run it that way but that is the support I want. Bonus points if it can fulfill non-medieval fantasy.

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Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm probably going to try something with 12 level classes to start out as well. I picked the number because I was working on making a d12 system with lots of 12s everywhere, but gimmick aside I think it was basically the point at which someone crossed into epic level 5e, and that a levels 1-12 campaign on something like the 5e chassis is a lot more achievable than the pie-in-the-sky levels 1-20 campaign that almost nobody actually plays.

I was thinking about a similar gimic around either 9 levels or 13 levels.

I am also thinking about ditching long spell lists in exchange for magic skills, where "spells" are complex uses of those skills that you have trained in enough to use them more efficiently than you can when improvising.

The key thing to figure out is, how much do I want to port things from my own existing non-dnd system.


Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I would simplify. Remove the races/whatever as a concept. If you want to be an elf, then roleplay an elf. If you need support for it, choose a feat that reflects your vision of elfiness, but it is just not a layer. Backgrounds would still serve a purpose I guess. And take the chance to get rid of wizard and cleric and replace them with more popular culture and folklore equivalents. Probably center on making a mundane healer as default, more diverse "martials" -isntead of shoving them all on basically the fighter-, and add more forms of unarmed combat. Oh, and no more ranged and easy healing.

With more time I'd also work on reducing the gigantic HP inflation. There are better ways to make enemies powerful and dangerous than just bigger numbers.

Somebody should totally do a massive survey with tens of thousands of participants and then make a new version of DnD based on the results.

I think that would be a great approach if whomever did it started by asking what sort of things people actually wanted before going right into designing, didn't construct survey questions to avoid getting feedback on design decisions they didn't want to touch, and actually shared the results so that multiple publishers could create multiple versions of D&D to satisfy the different niche audiences that built around different game preferences. I don't think anybody's tried that yet.

And take the chance to get rid of wizard and cleric and replace them with more popular culture and folklore equivalents. Probably center on making a mundane healer as default,
I actually had just had an epiphany earlier today for my low magic system with several basic classes that there should just be a class called "Healer". Not necessarily mundane, per se, but more of a folk healer whose healing isn't all so explicitly magical. I really never liked the D&D Cleric, since it is just so purely a D&Dism. I mean having the option of a holy person whose god gives them healing and other magical powers is awesome, but making a typical core member of every adventuring party a cleric just never jived all that well if you were trying to evoke almost any fantasy that wasn't D&D or D&D-derivative. The pre-D&D folkloric, historic, and literary basis for the class was negligible.

Voidrunner's Codex

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