D&D 5E Blue ONE, An attempt at a TRUE 5e Basic version

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
If you go with only one spell list, which is a superb option to let players decide just what kind of casters they are in addition to the origin of their spells, I'd maybe give a look at Beyond the Wall OSR rpg (it also has only 3 classes)

In short, spell auto-scale with the characters level, much like in previous editions, but there's no spell levels. All spells are close to 1st or 2nd level in D&D parlance, but they scale automatically, no upcasting necessary. You get a specific number of cast per day, no need to have slots of different levels since they are all the same.

In addition, you have rituals that are gated by the caster level and are no available to cast with slots.

It makes a simple that is quite simple to learn yet is very evocative and makes magic powerful, balanced and feel like actual magic.

Its worth a look.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
That's witty, but I think it treads on Old School Essentials a bit much, almost like I am trying to ride their coattails.

So far I'm partial to "Simply Dragons" (because Dragons is tied into Dungeons and Dragons, and Simply is pretty much the goal; keep it simple), and "Bugbears and Borderlands" just cuz that sounds cool and pays another homage to the Basic set.
 

That's witty, but I think it treads on Old School Essentials a bit much, almost like I am trying to ride their coattails.

So far I'm partial to "Simply Dragons" (because Dragons is tied into Dungeons and Dragons, and Simply is pretty much the goal; keep it simple), and "Bugbears and Borderlands" just cuz that sounds cool and pays another homage to the Basic set.
Simply Dragons sort of makes me think it's a book about dragons though
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Simply Dragons sort of makes me think it's a book about dragons though
I guess Bugbears & Borderlands it is then ;)

1661729855210.png
 

tsadkiel

Explorer
I think I shall write up a character, just to take the rules as currently written for a spin. I'll follow the steps in order.

Step 1 - think of a concept. Fair enough. I'll go with tiefling bard, since that's a nicely new school concept.

Step 2 - Assign ability modifiers. I want to be charismatic, obviously, and since I'm leaning towards spellcasting, I want to be smart. Let's go with Str -1, Dex +1, Con 0, Int +2, Wis 0, Cha +2.

Step 3 - Race and background. I've already decided on tiefling, and I think I'll stick with a medium tiefling rather than Small. the obvious background choice is Entertainer, but I could make a case for Combat Dancing or urchin. Let's stick with the obvious - Entertainer gives me +4 to Charisma checks (wait, what? All charisma checks? I'll enjoy it now, before Sacrosanct notices!) and lets me earn money by busking, tiefling gives me darkvison, Presdigitation, fire resistance, and eventually Hellish rebuke.

Step 4 - Class. If I want spellcasting (and I do) then I am a wizard. At first level that gives me 6 hp, proficiency in Int saves and I'll take Wisdom for my other save, since I'll need it. Skill proficiencies will be Int and Charisma. Proficiency with light weapons, fine, no armor, and I start with a scholar's pack, spell focus, staff, and 10 gp.

I can prepare level + Int mod spells per day, so 3. And I know one offensive, one defensive, two additonal, and two cantrips. (Plus my tiefling presdigitation.) Jumping ahead, I'll take Minor Illusion and Guidance for my cantrips, Sleep for my offensive spell, mage Armor for defense, and Healing Word and Bless for my other spells. (Trying to stick to the bard theme.)

Step 5. Equipment. In addition to my stuff from class, I'll grab - nothing, actually. The staff is fine as a weapon, I can't wear armor, and I don't see any musical instruments on the equipment list. I'll try to talk to the DM about letting me use a lute as my focus. And while the book says to use Dex when attacking with weapons that have the finesse property, none of the weapons on the list have the finesse property, so I'll be using Str to bop people on the head with my staff.

Step 6. Give the character a name. I'll stick with the blue theme, and call myself Azure.

And that's it! Pretty simple and fast, with the actual typing taking up most of the post. i did notice a few things that could probably be looked at, including the Entertainer's Cha bonus and the lack of finesse weapons, but they're easy enough to fix. I'll put the final character in a new post.
 

tsadkiel

Explorer
Azure the Bard
Tiefling Entertainer Wizard 1, Good

Str -1
Dex +1
Con 0
Int +2
Wis 0
Cha +2

HP 6
AC 11 (14 with Mage Armor)
Proficiency Bonus +2
Saves - Int +4, Wis +2
Skills - Int +4, Cha +8 (!)

SA: Darkvision, Fire Resistance, Arcane recovery

Cantrips: Presdigitation, Guidance, Minor Illusion
Spells Known: Bless, Healing Word, Mage Armor, Sleep
(2 slots, 3 prepared/long rest)

Equipment: Scholar's Pack, Spell Focus (Lute), Staff (+1/1d6-1), 10 GP.

That's a pretty manageable character sheet. And while I know my AC is 11, I did not find anything that told me how to calculate it.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Entertainer gives me +4 to Charisma checks (wait, what? All charisma checks? I'll enjoy it now, before Sacrosanct notices!)
Too late! LOL.

Speaking of, here is an updated version. Changes include:
background updates
Wizard class description changes (moved some traits into the spellcasting section, updated bonds)
A few new spells

*Edit, just realized I need to update extra attacks on fighter since I updated cannon fodder.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
*Edit, just realized I need to update extra attacks on fighter since I updated cannon fodder.
Glad you liked my suggestion. I think this is more elegant and accomplishes the goal of the feature.

I hope you will still consider some "druidic" influence in updating the spell lists.

One thing I would like to ask to clarify something:

Are you creating this 1) as a primer to 5E or 2) as its own entity?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Glad you liked my suggestion. I think this is more elegant and accomplishes the goal of the feature.
I agree!
I hope you will still consider some "druidic" influence in updating the spell lists.

One thing I would like to ask to clarify something:

Are you creating this 1) as a primer to 5E or 2) as its own entity?
More of a primer to 5e, like B/X was meant to be for AD&D, but completely stand alone for those folks who something more streamlined (like folks who like b/x over AD&D). That's why I'm trying to avoid the compulsion to keep adding things (like druids) because once you start that, you start losing grasp of the scope.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
More of a primer to 5e, like B/X was meant to be for AD&D, but completely stand alone for those folks who something more streamlined (like folks who like b/x over AD&D). That's why I'm trying to avoid the compulsion to keep adding things (like druids) because once you start that, you start losing grasp of the scope.
Ok. I asked because you have things like Elemental Ray as a cantrip (instead of having half a dozen attack cantrips LOL!), which doesn't exist in 5E.

So, if someone goes from this to 5E, and doesn't find Elemental Ray or class features like Fighter's Parry, it might be a bit confusing and/or disappointing.

It has been a long time since I looked at B/X vs. AD&D really, but I don't remember spells changing in name (or "feel"), for example.

Finally, it would be a bit of work at this point, but I think organizing spells by spell level and then alphabetically (B/X and AD&D style) would be better instead of just alphabetically (5E style). I know it is a gripe for a lot of people who play 5E....

Anyway, I'm working on some suggestions for the spell list, because I understand your point, but some of the spells you have seem sort of redundant (Cure Wounds and Healing Word, for example) and I would rather see less of the same type of spell and greater variety in that sense.

Personally, I think this is stellar work and I love the mixture of art types, so I sincerely hope you can take all my suggestions in the manner they are made. :) For me, this is approaching 90% "there" to the simple version of D&D I was working towards myself using the sidekick classes as a launching point. So, if I can help get your project to that "YES!" point for me, it saves me the leg work. ;)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Anyway, I'm working on some suggestions for the spell list, because I understand your point, but some of the spells you have seem sort of redundant (Cure Wounds and Healing Word, for example) and I would rather see less of the same type of spell and greater variety in that sense.
If @Sacrosanct doesn't mind deviating from basic 5e even further, they could go for a variant on the Pathfinder route: if you use do something--say, use your entire turn (no action, reaction, or free action), or take a little bit of damage, or something like that--it has a greater effect. Such as casting cure wounds at a distance. In fact, that's a pretty simple thing to do for any touch spell--give it a range.

In fact, you could probably steal some metamagic effects for a lot of the spells and have them as generic effects that happen when you cast "with effort." if it's a damaging spell that effects multiple people, when you cast with effort, you can choose a number of people equal to your Int mod who are undamaged by it. If it's a damaging spell that effects a single target, when you cast with effort, you can double the range. If it's a non-damaging spell that effects a single target and that lasts 1 minute or longer, when you cast with effort, you can double the duration.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
If @Sacrosanct doesn't mind deviating from basic 5e even further, they could go for a variant on the Pathfinder route: if you use do something--say, use your entire turn (no action, reaction, or free action), or take a little bit of damage, or something like that--it has a greater effect. Such as casting cure wounds at a distance. In fact, that's a pretty simple thing to do for any touch spell--give it a range.

In fact, you could probably steal some metamagic effects for a lot of the spells and have them as generic effects that happen when you cast "with effort." if it's a damaging spell that effects multiple people, when you cast with effort, you can choose a number of people equal to your Int mod who are undamaged by it. If it's a damaging spell that effects a single target, when you cast with effort, you can double the range. If it's a non-damaging spell that effects a single target and that lasts 1 minute or longer, when you cast with effort, you can double the duration.
I agree there is a TON you could do, which is why I asked if this was a more a 5E primer (which is what my own project was meant to be-- a truly "basic" 5E).

I get the feeling that deviations as you suggest probably go beyond the scope of this project, but I could be wrong.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
This is really cool, and the art is beautiful. I don’t love the description of orcs as being aggressive and usually evil, but included because half-orcs have been a thing in other editions. I also kinda wish each class had an ability at 10th level.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I agree there is a TON you could do, which is why I asked if this was a more a 5E primer (which is what my own project was meant to be-- a truly "basic" 5E).

I get the feeling that deviations as you suggest probably go beyond the scope of this project, but I could be wrong.
True. It already deviates quite a bit, what with the three classes, but my idea might be too far.

OTOH, it wouldn't be a D&D variant without supplements, and I could see perhaps bringing in different options--whether my ideas, or other people's--later on. :D
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
This is really cool, and the art is beautiful. I don’t love the description of orcs as being aggressive and usually evil, but included because half-orcs have been a thing in other editions. I also kinda wish each class had an ability at 10th level.
Admittedly that didn't quite sit well with me. I've made a revision.

Orcs are typically war-like and aggressive. They are slightly larger than humans, with solid builds, skin color that ranges from gray to green, with short tusks. Many also have pinkish pig-like snouts.
Orcs are often considered an “evil” race, and are used as antagonists in most adventures. While many game tables have orcs as an evil monster, if your table agrees, feel free to have them as a playable race of any alignment. After all, it stands to reason that any intelligent societal species will have cultures and ideals on morality as varied as our own.
When choosing an orc as your race, you gain darkvision up to 60 feet. You also gain the relentless trait. With this trait, if an attack brings you to 0 or fewer hit points, you instead drop to 1 hit point. You can use this trait once per long rest.

Speed: 30 feet
Size: Medium
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I always liked having orcs being aggressive in their culture, with many members seeking to prove their place through conflict. However, this does not make them "evil". Other races might see orcs fighting and pushing, etc., thinking they are simply violent and evil, but really the orcs are establishing their order of dominance among themselves. They respect strength, power, AND the WISDOM to know when to use it and how much is necessary. Using too much is wasteful orcs in my game world. And they recognize that "strength and power" is not necessarily just PHYSICAL, but also can be mental and social.
 

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