D&D General best of the cutting room floor

over the editions, dnd has grown a lot of stuff that gets lost in the changes of editions.
here I want to discuss the things we find that are thought-provoking whether they are classes, monsters or playable races.
you know just anything you look and get inspired.

I will start I find the Psurlon a fairly interesting aberration and with a new twist, I think they could become a classic.
 

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what the hell was incarnum?
IIRC (not by my old books this week) it was a new way to handle magic that basically started with the item-slot system and built all magic-user concepts from there. It was definitely novel, and not well-balanced but it was the first published iteration of the concept.

The takeaway is: if you're bored of typical DnD magic, here's an all-new way to do it that still meshes with the rest of the rules so you're not learning a whole new game. Which was neat, as a concept.
 

IIRC (not by my old books this week) it was a new way to handle magic that basically started with the item-slot system and built all magic-user concepts from there. It was definitely novel, and not well-balanced but it was the first published iteration of the concept.

The takeaway is: if you're bored of typical DnD magic, here's an all-new way to do it that still meshes with the rest of the rules so you're not learning a whole new game. Which was neat, as a concept.
aside from pure mechanics did it have anything going for it?
 



Novelty, mostly. But I've been playing DnD for almost 40 years now; yet another psion who's just a wizard but uses different technobabble isn't as exciting as a genuinely different take on how magic works.
you are a human after my own heart with that as I crave a decent psionic system that feels both familiar and novel.
D&D has never repeated the simple elegance of the Companion/RC domain management and war machine rules, despite holding onto the idea of high level characters transitioning to rulership roles at least through 3.5 (I don't know about 4E; they seem to have abandoned that in 5E).
I have heard of that it bugs me that we have never had an adventure for it in recent years or a book about it as it helps remove the murderhobo.
 

I mean, the big obvious standout right now is the Warlord. Beloved by fans of 4e, loathed mostly by folks who never played one (nor, in most cases, even played 4e at all.) But a heck of a good time, and an excellent demonstration of what you can do when you really know what your game design is capable of.

Other fun things I think could be brought back: weapon properties, prestige classes, Cleric spheres, domain management (as Reynard noted above), reaction rolls. I'm absolutely a huge fan of static defenses rather than rolling saves, and think Skill Challenges should have been revamped rather than discarded (and I'm certain both were left out of 5e exclusively because they smelled like 4e, not because there's anything wrong with them mechanically.)
 

I mean, the big obvious standout right now is the Warlord. Beloved by fans of 4e, loathed mostly by folks who never played one (nor, in most cases, even played 4e at all.) But a heck of a good time, and an excellent demonstration of what you can do when you really know what your game design is capable of.

Other fun things I think could be brought back: weapon properties, prestige classes, Cleric spheres, domain management (as Reynard noted above), reaction rolls. I'm absolutely a huge fan of static defenses rather than rolling saves, and think Skill Challenges should have been revamped rather than discarded (and I'm certain both were left out of 5e exclusively because they smelled like 4e, not because there's anything wrong with them mechanically.)
warlord does sound like a good idea would really go with the above stronghold stuff.
how are cleric spheres different from what we have now?
how would you even do prestige classes now? Would they replace or clip on to the base class?
 



They tested a prestige class in an early UA. The response at the time was an overwhelming “no thanks”.

yeah it was something I read they did not work with this edition hence the idea of a clip-on top prestige class.
Weapon v AC adjustments!
Companion level management, war and such
no idea what the top means, but others have mentioned stronghold gameplay would that not be linked?
 

niklinna

Legend
I mean, the big obvious standout right now is the Warlord. Beloved by fans of 4e, loathed mostly by folks who never played one (nor, in most cases, even played 4e at all.) But a heck of a good time, and an excellent demonstration of what you can do when you really know what your game design is capable of.
Level Up has something much like the 4e Warlord in its Marshal class, and comprehensive stronghold rules for all classes.
 

yeah it was something I read they did not work with this edition hence the idea of a clip-on top prestige class.

no idea what the top means, but others have mentioned stronghold gameplay would that not be linked?

I think by 'weapon vs AC adjustments' they mean the 1e rule whereby each type of weapon had a different to-hit penalty or bonus against each type of armor. Problem was, they had separate adjustments for every combo from plate mail + shield to unarmored and for every single weapon, including the profusion of obscure 1e polearms (bill-guisarme, voulge, etc.), so you wound up having to consult a giant table full of numbers every time you made an attack and nobody used it.

But 'blunt weapons hit better against platemail' had some potential to it. The piercing/crushing/slashing damage trifecta doesn't really see that much use in 5e right now.
 

how are cleric spheres different from what we have now?
As I was given to understand, spheres are more...thematic and broad, as opposed to domains, which are more conceptual and narrow. More like schools than domains. So you wouldn't have a Death sphere, but you might have a Domination sphere that has such things.

how would you even do prestige classes now? Would they replace or clip on to the base class?
I'm not sure what you mean by "clip on," but if you're interested in how I would do it, I wrote one you can check out. I have never found a group to let me playtest it (spent a year looking, after repeated failure I gave up.) It needs to be playtested before I can be truly confident that it is balanced, but in the absence of that, I am as confident as I can be that it isn't broken.

They tested a prestige class in an early UA. The response at the time was an overwhelming “no thanks”.

That analysis is not actually supported by what we heard. They told us it wasn't something people were looking for at this time. We have no idea if it was a huge universally negative response or "eh we just don't care for it." Reading in stuff like the vehemence or volume of response is unwise without actual data to back it up.
 


pukunui

Legend
That analysis is not actually supported by what we heard. They told us it wasn't something people were looking for at this time. We have no idea if it was a huge universally negative response or "eh we just don't care for it." Reading in stuff like the vehemence or volume of response is unwise without actual data to back it up.
There was clearly enough of a negative response that they dropped it right there and then and have not attempted it again in the many years since (unlike, say, psionics, which they put effort into multiple times before deciding to mostly give up on it due to not getting a positive enough response for anything other than the subclasses that appeared in Tasha's).
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
A few things:
  • Warlord (or support/force multiplier characters being actually able to do fun things. You know, some people DO love playing support or healer or white mages!)
  • Rituals being a different form of magic not available through the general spell list
  • Crit range and multiplier, weapon properties.
  • Varying Resistances and Weakness, and special material to damage certain creatures.
 

I think Domain management and the War Machine are the biggest drops that could still be done for 5E.

how are cleric spheres different from what we have now?
Divine Spheres was an interesting concept that didn't play out well in game. As a priest, your spell list was limited to the spells under the spheres your deity had. This meant that each deity's priests could be slightly different from every other deity's priests. However, certain key spells (healing) were restricted, when they were a primary point of the class. To properly implement it, you'd have to move healing to become a class feature or provide a lot of non-magical healing options (like 5E did). Additionally, you'd probably need 5-10 times the number of spells, just so that every character could have sufficient spells at each level to choose from.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

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