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Couple of house rules I would like some critique on pls

TallIan

Explorer
Hi,

I am newish to 5e but have about 18 years of roleplay behind me (mostly d&d). I have so far only really run a couple of standalone adventures for 5e but a couple of things I don't quite like, so was hoping to get some feedback on the balance of implementing hostiles for them.

First off, the rather small difference between skills you are proficient in and those you are not. I do not want a skill rank system like 3.x and there are plenty of conversion systems available to do that. But I was thinking of using the disadvantage mechanic by having skills noted as: class skills; non class skills; and proficiencies. Proficiencies stay as they are in the PHB, and classes then get class skills (starting with roughly twice as many as they get proficiencies). All other skills are considered non class skills. If you are rolling for a non class skill you roll at disadvantage, if you are rolling a class skill you roll with the relevant ability. As well as the existing feat, you gain a proficiency every few levels, based on class.

EDIT: this would only apply to skills and tools, armour, weapon and language proficiencies would be unchanged and tools are either proficient or non class.

I think this will give skills a slightly bigger role, but will also give skills based classes a boost that I can't say they need or not.

Secondly the concentration mechanic seems a bit bolted on to me. I absolutely agree that it is a great idea, but it becomes an increasingly valuable action as you gain more spells. Effectively becoming weaker the higher your level. So what I was thinking was to allow concentration on a number of spell levels equal to half your caster level. I wanted to include ability modifier in there as well, but multi class casters just gets to complicated.

To compensate for this, I was going to reintroduce spell failure chance (I suppose this is a third house rule I'm asking about). When casting in armour the DC of the spell failing is twice the bonus to AC, ignoring any magical enhancements.

Thanks
Tall
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
First off, the rather small difference between skills you are proficient in and those you are not. I do not want a skill rank system like 3.x and there are plenty of conversion systems available to do that. But I was thinking of using the disadvantage mechanic by having skills noted as: class skills; non class skills; and proficiencies. Proficiencies stay as they are in the PHB, and classes then get class skills (starting with roughly twice as many as they get proficiencies). All other skills are considered non class skills. If you are rolling for a non class skill you roll at disadvantage, if you are rolling a class skill you roll with the relevant ability. As well as the existing feat, you gain a proficiency every few levels, based on class.

EDIT: this would only apply to skills and tools, armour, weapon and language proficiencies would be unchanged and tools are either proficient or non class.

I think this will give skills a slightly bigger role, but will also give skills based classes a boost that I can't say they need or not.

I'm not sure I get this, let me restate to see if I do. You are creating a third class of skills, which you get disadvantage on. Proficient skills stay the same, but there will be another list of "class skills" that are the current untrained, and anything not on those lists go to this new disadvantage category.

I should have said a fourth class of skills, since we actually do already have three. Skill-monkey classes get expertise, double proficiency.

I understand wanting a larger range, but 5e is more about bounded accuracy where ranges aren't super huge. It allows more level range in whomever you are dealing with. Just because the big bad is 10th and your 6th, you still have a chance to notice him sneaking in the shadows. So this goes hand-in-hand with the bounded accuracy design philosophy.

Your plan has an affect on every monster and NPC and that may boost a bunch of PC skills up much higher then expected if it goes against a resisted roll (like insight vs. bluff).

As a side not, the term "class skills" is a bit old fashioned. The idea that your class defines what you can do well has been superseded in 5e - yes, your class shows some of what you can do, but also your background has a large affect on it and your race to some degree as well.

Secondly the concentration mechanic seems a bit bolted on to me. I absolutely agree that it is a great idea, but it becomes an increasingly valuable action as you gain more spells. Effectively becoming weaker the higher your level. So what I was thinking was to allow concentration on a number of spell levels equal to half your caster level. I wanted to include ability modifier in there as well, but multi class casters just gets to complicated.

To compensate for this, I was going to reintroduce spell failure chance (I suppose this is a third house rule I'm asking about). When casting in armour the DC of the spell failing is twice the bonus to AC, ignoring any magical enhancements.

This would be a tremendous unbelievably buff for casters. Many spells are not meant to stack, or if they are it's because you have several supporting casters all using their concentration the same way. Also multiple debuffs that working together can shut down very powerful foes.

I'm not sure where comes the idea that it's bolted on - it's been in the Next playtest since early on.

Your failure chance will somewhat offset it for clerics, rangers, paladins, valor bards - the classes that have melee based features and do rely on armor, without reducing the others at all.

If you really want to, add in a feat to allow you to spend reaction to have a second concentration slot for the round. Then there's a trade off (feat and no reaction) for close to doubling the effect a caster can have on an encounter.
 

Jediking

Explorer
First off, the rather small difference between skills you are proficient in and those you are not.
...I think this will give skills a slightly bigger role, but will also give skills based classes a boost that I can't say they need or not.
What level was your group when you were running your adventures? Skill bonuses will scale up over time as the proficiency bonus and possible ASI increases. So if your group was low level, it won't show the disparity as later in the campaign. And keep in mind that Bounded Accuracy in the game is a key balancing factor.

Secondly the concentration mechanic seems a bit bolted on to me. I absolutely agree that it is a great idea, but it becomes an increasingly valuable action as you gain more spells, [e]ffectively becoming weaker the higher your level. So what I was thinking was to allow concentration on a number of spell levels equal to half your caster level.
What issue did you have with Concentration? You get more choices as you get more spells, but every class gets more options as they level and need to choose how to spend limited resources, which include their concentration. A Fighter's Attack action becomes more valuable as he levels up, but sometimes he will still need to Hide, Disengage, Dodge, etc. Concentration is a big part of how spells were balanced, so careful how you change it.
 


gyor

Legend
Hi,

I am newish to 5e but have about 18 years of roleplay behind me (mostly d&d). I have so far only really run a couple of standalone adventures for 5e but a couple of things I don't quite like, so was hoping to get some feedback on the balance of implementing hostiles for them.

First off, the rather small difference between skills you are proficient in and those you are not. I do not want a skill rank system like 3.x and there are plenty of conversion systems available to do that. But I was thinking of using the disadvantage mechanic by having skills noted as: class skills; non class skills; and proficiencies. Proficiencies stay as they are in the PHB, and classes then get class skills (starting with roughly twice as many as they get proficiencies). All other skills are considered non class skills. If you are rolling for a non class skill you roll at disadvantage, if you are rolling a class skill you roll with the relevant ability. As well as the existing feat, you gain a proficiency every few levels, based on class.

EDIT: this would only apply to skills and tools, armour, weapon and language proficiencies would be unchanged and tools are either proficient or non class.

I think this will give skills a slightly bigger role, but will also give skills based classes a boost that I can't say they need or not.

Secondly the concentration mechanic seems a bit bolted on to me. I absolutely agree that it is a great idea, but it becomes an increasingly valuable action as you gain more spells. Effectively becoming weaker the higher your level. So what I was thinking was to allow concentration on a number of spell levels equal to half your caster level. I wanted to include ability modifier in there as well, but multi class casters just gets to complicated.

To compensate for this, I was going to reintroduce spell failure chance (I suppose this is a third house rule I'm asking about). When casting in armour the DC of the spell failing is twice the bonus to AC, ignoring any magical enhancements.

Thanks
Tall

You could use the downtime mechanic to train none class skills into class skills just as you can with tools and languages.
 



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