OGL Community created 5e clone?


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mamba

Hero
So, my first thought was jokingly saying "democracy is overrated", but…
Isn't anyone else concerned that a voting based system will possibly be awful?
I think a project like this would need a strong, opinionated leader with game design chops instead of letting the popular vote carry system design. Anything else just feels like populist decision making.
not sure why I would be concerned about that. There is a reason why WotC asks us whether we like their changes, and not to come up with our own changes
 


I'm in, but in order to accurately capture the spirit of WotC ranger class design, I propose we set up several tables of possible class features, then determine which ones make the cut through chat input in the vein of Twitch Plays Pokemon.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If we use different classes, I vote

Warrior (big weapons strength/con based can gain Berserker Fury or maneuvers) combines fighter and Barbarian elements

Knight or Warden (vharisma and strength, can gain a guardian’s mark or a rallying cry that creates an aura) combines fighter and Paladin elements, plus some light defender mechanics

Rogue ( Dex and Cha, thievery and deception, dirty fighting, either gets Jack of all trades or acrobatic themed stuff) rogue and bard elements, mostly nonmagical but does include a way to be the arcane trickster or the music magic guy

Assassin (Dex/Int, stealth and disguise expert, damage nova mechanic, either gets specialized kit including poisons or gets shadow magic) rogue and fighter elements, with small bits of monk influence around movement and defense

Mage (def spellbook, but make it more central as a well of power and knowledge, and make implements matter as much as weapons do for martials, maybe choose between the tome and internal power? Either way you can learn new magic in adventure) wizard and sorcerer elements

Warlock (Int and Cha, themes of stolen power, forbidden knowledge, calling upon True Names, choose between a Patron as Power Source and a Ritual/Binding Specialization? Warlocks should be a mix of a Golden Dawn Hermetic Ritualist and Evocationist, and John Constantine) Warlock with a smidge of Rogue and Bard bits, more witchy, less strictly Faustian

Warden or similar name (Str or Dex and Wis, half-caster, something like smite and a mark that can be offensive or protective, chooses arcane or divine power, getting either mage armor and mobility or healing) Paladin and swordmage elements. Heavy gish

Mystic (wisdom primary with Dex or strength features, mystical powers relating to the self, can either lean into martial artist tropes or into mystic warrior tropes) monk elements and 4e avenger and swordmage elements. The light gish.

Priest (no armor, divine aura, idk I don’t even like clerics someone else do the thing lol)

Druid and Ranger close to as is thematically, Bard…total redesign to being a lore master, keeper of stories, able to essentially Turn Mortals by subjecting them to the unmitigated truth, etc
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I mean while we are at it I would love to cut back the HP inflation that WotC editions have had
and while we are at it maybe we can make a setting that is set on modern designs instead of rehashing ideas form 70's 80's 90's and early 00's
wait while we are at it we should....
So, like, what exactly do you not want versus what do you want? Because "set on modern design" isn't a useful phrase.

So, my first thought was jokingly saying "democracy is overrated", but…
Isn't anyone else concerned that a voting based system will possibly be awful?
I think a project like this would need a strong, opinionated leader with game design chops instead of letting the popular vote carry system design. Anything else just feels like populist decision making.
On the SJ Games forums, they used to (and may still do; haven't been there in forever) do "vote up a X" threads and they were usually pretty interesting. They were more theorycrafting than anything, but it's likely that a community-created 5e clone would also be more theorycrafting than actual result.

With the ability to do polls, I would strongly suggest that's how it's done. Not just "I want <this list of items>."
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
IME, there are always "while we're at..." changes in a lot of retroclones. These are often retroclones designed by one or maybe to designers. But in a committee? How many "while we're at" changes would there be and where? It really would be pure...
In this case, the "while were at it" changes help distance the clone more clearly from the original. There is benefit.

However, any structural changes or terminology changes would need to be simple and straightforward − and appeal to the majority of the 5e players.

So the changes cannot deviate too far from what 5e players are familiar with.

The benefit of a group of active designers under the observation of the gaming community can − via voting − help stay on course.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Particularly any decision that didn't reflect the launch state of 3rd edition (no typo).
Yeah. As I am starting to familiarize myself with P2 (Pathfinder 2), I am seeing the "bounded accuracy" of 5e differently.

Bounded accuracy keeps math simpler. That is a powerful attractiveness

At the same time, a lack of bounded accuracy allows wide gaps between numbers (+10, +20, +30) gives more design space for different kinds of features, and characters that have more nuance and more flavor.



Relatedly, both 5e and P2 minimize reliance on magic items, so magic items are +1 at the lowest levels and only +3 at the highest levels. The difference is, the math for P2 expects magic items of a certain amount of power at certain character levels, whereas the bounded accuracy of 5e has no room for magic items and ignores magic items entirely. In this way, 5e customarily awards magic items but lacks the math for them, which causes serious imbalances at the highest level encounters, where bounded accuracy cannot compete with the magical boosts.



Anyways bounded accuracy (for simple math) versus bigger math (for more design space for more options) is a deep structural difference. It is something 5e players might want to revisit when deciding the gaming engine of the clone.



On the other hand, if 5e moved away from bounded accuracy, the highest levels of 5e would no longer be mathematically compatible − but probably easy to convert to the clone.

It seems to me, the clone of 5e would need math that is strictly compatible with 5e upto level 8, and be reasonable enough upto level 12. But for the highest levels, the clone can depart from bounded accuracy if that is what people want.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Ok, first vote:

Warlord: archetype or full-class?

I'll post the second vote in 2-3 years!

:p

Joking aside, I'd be down to participate, but I dont think it would produce any results. There's a reason we all have a different bunch of houserules at our own table.
The cool thing about this approach is, variants are welcome.

If someone wants to build the Warlord as a separate class with unique features, do that.

If someone wants to build the Warlord as a subclass, do that too.

All Warlords are variants. The most popular variant is the "default".
 

So, like, what exactly do you not want versus what do you want? Because "set on modern design" isn't a useful phrase.
I was trying to be snarky, but those are things I could make a case for... in the case of modern design I mean not having the setting dominated by high level spellcasting NPCs, and having a more wide burth of ancestries/heritages
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I was trying to be snarky, but those are things I could make a case for... in the case of modern design I mean not having the setting dominated by high level spellcasting NPCs, and having a more wide burth of ancestries/heritages
I wouldn't consider having high-level NPCs everywhere so much a design aspect of older games as just an unfortunate side effect of Greyhawk and the Realms.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I updated my thread on a similar topic tonight, which I'll link here.


The more this gets discussed and I have time to think on it, the more I think I’ve got my basic model and goals.
  • Simplified low level chargen, but simple but meaningful choices as you advance
    • Much simpler classes, basically a starting package with scaling features and maybe 1 new feature every 3-4 levels.
    • Each class has a couple few fundamental choices, like rogues choose between being a jack of all trades or a swashbuckler/acrobat. The Warden chooses essentially whether to be an arcane or divine ( gish, with a Mark that can be used offensively or defensively.
    • Feats come in two tiers, lesser and greater.
    • Archetypes are basically greater feats, multiclassing can be done with either/both
    • Ancestry and Upbringing help define you, but aren’t huge. Upbringing similar to background and culture, provides languages.
  • Skill system as the core resolution system, replacing all the fiddly little individual systems for resolving different things
    • Each type of magic a skill, and Each group of weapons (one-handed, light thrown, heavy thrown, polearms, shield, off-hand weapons, bows, etc) a skill or a category that works like skills but is distinct to avoid confusion wrt whether you can ignore social skills to have nothing but weapon skills
    • Every “skill” has at least two basic actions associated with it, and a 1-paragraph description of what kinda of things you can do with it.
    • “Upcasting” is built into the basic actions, but part of the description could also be “more powerful actions might increase in scope, or direct power, at XYZ rate”
      • Example; Pyromancy would have the ability to yeet a burning pinecone at someone, or whatever, and would have language as to what vectors can be increased by what degrees with each unit of increase resource spend

  • Magic and martial abilities remade into skills, and unified into a coherent system, without losing spells or making martials feel like wizards
    • Spells and techniques both draw from one resource, like ability pools or a derived statistic like Will which comes from con and wisdom or whatever
    • Spellcraft and techniques are player-driven, ie there are example spells for each magic skill and techniques for each martial combat style, but it’s a short list. Instead players create spells and techniques in-character, either by figuring out a need, or improvising more complex uses of magic skills, etc, or by collaboration.
    • More types of magic, more distinct weapons.

  • Core mechanics that support ease of play with depth of potential mastery. Easy to learn and satisfying to master? Is that the phrase?
    • Skills are dirt simple to learn the basics of, with a high level of depth. The text of the mechanics of the game is not huge.
    • PCs roll defense, NPCs don’t roll attacks. This way anything trying to hurt you uses the same methodology, and PCs make most of the rolls.
    • Maybe distance in zones?
    • De-fiddle stuff like special vision. You either have the special sense or you don't. Only something like tremorsense and maybe blindsight should have a defined distance
    • Still need to go over the basic rules kernel that runs 5e and find the stuff that only serves to increase complexity with little benefit. Ya know, stuff like how movement used to work before 5e. I'm blanking on what elements of 5e have felt that way to me, but I know they exist.

In case anyone sees anything in what I've got and wants to snatch it.

I figure the whole point here is an open game, so I see no reason to not share ideas even if we end up diverging into several paths.
 

aco175

Legend
I was going to write something snarky, but do not want to rain on others parades. Seems like something that could be done, but need to get the words down. I already seen 3 different uses for the race. I would not want 20 pages of arguing about each thing. Might need sub-groups to finalize things down to 3-4 before open vote.

Would people be happy with 20% of stuff I really like and 20% I do not want?
 

I was going to write something snarky, but do not want to rain on others parades. Seems like something that could be done, but need to get the words down. I already seen 3 different uses for the race. I would not want 20 pages of arguing about each thing. Might need sub-groups to finalize things down to 3-4 before open vote.

Would people be happy with 20% of stuff I really like and 20% I do not want?
if you think that's bad wait until the "what is a warlock" and "what is a sorcerer" starts... or heaven forbid the relaunch of the 'warlord' threads
 



Or the "how many classes do you actually need?" thread.

(I vote "fewer," although I understand why some people want lots.)
I mean with good subclass and multi classing (maybe duel) you only need Warrior, Skill peep, and magic caster

on the other end it just makes sense to make a knight, a swashbuckler, ect...
 


mellored

Adventurer
I mean with good subclass and multi classing (maybe duel) you only need Warrior, Skill peep, and magic caster

on the other end it just makes sense to make a knight, a swashbuckler, ect...
You could have more branches.

At level 1, pick a group between warrior, skill, or magic.

At level 2, pick an archetype.
warrior -> swashbuckler, knight, or brute.
Skills-> sneak, charm, craft
Magic -> holy, nature, arcane.

At level 3, pick sub-class.

At level 4 you get a feat.

level 5, get a group increase
Level 6 an archetype increase
Level 7 a sub-class increase
Level 8 a feat.

repeat.

And continue customization on the way up.
 

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