D&D 6th edition - What do you want to see?

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I'd turn feats and multiclassing off by default. Make them very distinctly an optional rule to the point of having them not available or restricted in AL play.
This is already the case.

Rules for Adventurer's League are separate from the rules for D&D. It uses some optional rules and has its own house rules.

Feats and multiclassing are already presented as being optional and the majority of tables don't use them.

Keep in mind that AL probably represents 1% or less of the 5e player base.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The core rules are great. I wouldn't do much more to them than restate them and reorganize them slightly.

I'd turn feats and multiclassing off by default.
Feats purely optional? Absolutely!

Multiclassing? My answer would be to allow a character to have two classes maximum, and no more; largely bewcause there's still a few key concepts that just can't quite be done within a single class.

That said, make it 2e-style multiclassing where xp are split into each class, rather than the additive style used since then. Far more organic.

I'd also work in more optional rules and give them distinct names. For example we have a rule for Critical Hits. I could see two more variations on that - one being the max dice + dice version - call that the "Perkins Crit" (or whatever) - and I could see also having a crit table to roll a d20 on - call that a "Table Crit". Having specific names for them would give a universal shorthand to it.
Ditto for fumbles.

I think the biggest thing that I would want worked on would be the classes themselves. Every class could use some rework.
Pretty much guaranteed this would happen anyway, if only to a) make it different from 5e and b) incorporate whatever new mechanics they dream up for 6e.
 

bmfrosty

Explorer
Multiclassing? My answer would be to allow a character to have two classes maximum, and no more; largely bewcause there's still a few key concepts that just can't quite be done within a single class.
My thought on this is similar. Two classes at most and then a rule that if you have two classes, when levelling you must level the class in which you have the fewest levels.

It prevents dipping and approximates the older multiclassing strategies.
 
It's not gonna happen, but... I'd like to see the elimination of automatic ability score adjustments and skills/proficiencies according to Race. It's fine to say, for instance, that Elves tend on average to be more graceful than Humans, but don't hardwire that into a Dex bonus applied to every. single. Elf. Instead, let PCs CHOOSE whether they want to apply their ability score bonuses (which they would get for being adventurers, not because of Race) to the stereotypical scores, or whether to make their Elf different. Likewise, not every bloody Elf, Dwarf or whatever would realistically all have identical training in the use of specific weapons - after all, Humans aren't all skilled in martial weapons, as witness the many baker, blacksmith, tavern keeper, merchant, etc. NPCS. Surely Elven and Dwarven societies have the equivalent? As written, the rules assume every member of those races get warrior training, which is ludicrous. A description of skills many martially-inclined Elves or Dwarves take can be in the flavor text, while the rules allow the PCs to assign their starting skills as they prefer (I.e. no automatic proficiency in certain weapons just for being an Elf, Dwarf, etc. The PCs would have the OPTION of going the standard route and getting the stereotypical "Elf" package should they so choose - they just wouldn't be FORCED to do so.)

Likewise, DMs could make NPC Elves and Dwarves either conform to or depart from the traditional standards.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It's not gonna happen, but... I'd like to see the elimination of automatic ability score adjustments and skills/proficiencies according to Race. It's fine to say, for instance, that Elves tend on average to be more graceful than Humans, but don't hardwire that into a Dex bonus applied to every. single. Elf.
Thing is, if the race is on average more dextrous than Humans (who are always the baseline default) how else do you reflect this?

Instead, let PCs CHOOSE whether they want to apply their ability score bonuses (which they would get for being adventurers, not because of Race) to the stereotypical scores, or whether to make their Elf different.
Once they've nicely started adventuring this is exactly what happens, when players assign their ASIs.

Likewise, not every bloody Elf, Dwarf or whatever would realistically all have identical training in the use of specific weapons - after all, Humans aren't all skilled in martial weapons, as witness the many baker, blacksmith, tavern keeper, merchant, etc. NPCS. Surely Elven and Dwarven societies have the equivalent? As written, the rules assume every member of those races get warrior training, which is ludicrous. A description of skills many martially-inclined Elves or Dwarves take can be in the flavor text, while the rules allow the PCs to assign their starting skills as they prefer (I.e. no automatic proficiency in certain weapons just for being an Elf, Dwarf, etc. The PCs would have the OPTION of going the standard route and getting the stereotypical "Elf" package should they so choose - they just wouldn't be FORCED to do so.)
On this I agree. Weapon training, learned skills, etc. should all in theory be informed by some combination of class and background, based on whatever concept the player has in mind.

But those are different from hard-baked physical attributes of a species, which probably should be built in somehow. Dwarves are both stronger and tougher than Humans, on average. Elves and Hobbits are more dextrous; one could argue Elves are more charismatic as well, if charisma included comeliness or beauty. Gnomes are...well, Gnomes; and thus more pointless than Humans. :)

Otherwise, the obvious risk is that a character's race becomes little more than fluff, in which case just make 'em all Human and have done with it.
 
Thing is, if the race is on average more dextrous than Humans (who are always the baseline default) how else do you reflect this?
You mean, how do you force player characters to be adjusted toward the norms for their race? My question would be WHY do PC's need to be adjusted toward racial norms?

The DM can and will assign stats to NON-player characters however they wish. If they want more elves with higher dexterity scores, doing more dexterity-oriented things then that is what the DM will have happen. But I don't see any reason that PC's need to ALSO noticeably reflect ability score patterns seen in their entire race. If a player wants a dexterous elf to reflect the trend seen in NON-player character elves, then let the player assign a higher amount to Dex, and a lower amount to a stat where elves tend to be lower than humans. If the player doesn't mind their PC being in the lower Dex percentile for their race, SO BE IT.

You do not need to use stat bonuses/penalties to reinforce racial stereotypes that the DM is going to assign to NON-PLAYER-characters as they see fit anyway. Let the DM worry about the NPC's reflecting the idea that in that campaign world Elves tend to be more dexterous. Let the PLAYERS decide what they want stats for their character to reflect. Period. :)

Once they've nicely started adventuring this is exactly what happens, when players assign their ASIs.
It doesn't need to start there. It can start AT character creation when players assign their scores to stats. There just isn't a reason I can fathom that PC's need to be pushed into having their characters ability scores weighted to specifically reflect those of NON-player characters. If every dwarf character the players ever create for a campaign actually has a constitution below 11, does that alter the fabric of space-time and make the race of dwarves in that game world weaker and less hardy than humans? No. Because the DM will still have all NPC dwarves skew towards being hardier and stronger. Why MUST player characters always be emblematic of their race regardless of what those racial tendencies are? It will not alter the GAME WORLD that the DM presents to the players in any way. At best it will only alter the perception of NPC's toward the individual player characters in comparison to the norms in that game world.

But those are different from hard-baked physical attributes of a species, which probably should be built in somehow.
But those differences aren't hard-baked in the first place. NON-player demi-humans run the gamut of low to high in various stats just as humans do. For a particular stat there will be a higher percentage that are better or worse, but they aren't ALL better, nor ALL worse in the same way - nor should they be - NOR should we keep acting as if they are.

Why does this need to be forcibly built into PLAYER character creation? Again, can't a player choose to create a NOT-above-human-averages-dexterity elf? Can't they choose to create a NOT-above-human-averages-constitution dwarf? If so, then let them. If they want the "usually more dexterous" elf as their character, they can. They just assign a high score to Dex. If they want a "usually more high constitution" dwarf, they just assign a high score to Con. Baking is then done, regardless of how hard the crust is on the dish that the PLAYER chose to make, and the food can be served.

Dwarves are both stronger and tougher than Humans, on average. Elves and Hobbits are more dextrous; one could argue Elves are more charismatic as well, if charisma included comeliness or beauty. Gnomes are...well, Gnomes; and thus more pointless than Humans. :)
But can you argue that PLAYER characters MUST reflect those tendencies? Can't those tendencies be reflected by their choices in assigning stats as to whether their PC will demonstrate those tendencies or not?

Otherwise, the obvious risk is that a character's race becomes little more than fluff, in which case just make 'em all Human and have done with it.
I find it difficult to buy into that line of reasoning at all. If you take two characters with identical ability scores and hand them to two different players and say, "Your scores have been assigned. Make whatever character you like but there are no default RACIAL abilities," would you get all humans? If someone under those restrictions decides they DO want to play a demi-human despite not being bribed to do so by racial abilities within the game, wouldn't they still do so and still play their character AS a demi-human and not a human to at least SOME degree? I don't buy that ONLY mechanical benefits of a choice of race will produce results that don't seem like a re-fluffed human. If anything, I'd argue that giving all characters of a given race the same racial abilities only hands them a roleplaying crutch and expects every character ever to lean on that in order to seem different than humans because they can't and won't be trusted to do it any other way.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
You mean, how do you force player characters to be adjusted toward the norms for their race? My question would be WHY do PC's need to be adjusted toward racial norms?
Simple: because that's what the race is. Thus, if you want to play an Elf you just have to accept the fact that Elves tend to be more dextrous than Humans and that this is reflected in a stat adjustment after you've assigned your stats, because when you're rolling up an Elf you're rolling up an Elf, not a Human. It's as much a part of the territory as accepting that the native language of an Elf is 99.9% likely going to be Elvish.

Now don't take this to mean I like the way D&D has gone about doing stat adjustments through the various editions; I don't, as IMO there's a better (though slightly more complicated) way to do it. See below.

The DM can and will assign stats to NON-player characters however they wish. If they want more elves with higher dexterity scores, doing more dexterity-oriented things then that is what the DM will have happen. But I don't see any reason that PC's need to ALSO noticeably reflect ability score patterns seen in their entire race. If a player wants a dexterous elf to reflect the trend seen in NON-player character elves, then let the player assign a higher amount to Dex, and a lower amount to a stat where elves tend to be lower than humans. If the player doesn't mind their PC being in the lower Dex percentile for their race, SO BE IT.
Yes, but what exactly does "the lower Dex percentile" represent when talking about an Elf? An Elf might, for example, be Dex 8 in Human (and thus game) terms but be Dex 6 in the eyes of other Elves.

You do not need to use stat bonuses/penalties to reinforce racial stereotypes that the DM is going to assign to NON-PLAYER-characters as they see fit anyway. Let the DM worry about the NPC's reflecting the idea that in that campaign world Elves tend to be more dexterous. Let the PLAYERS decide what they want stats for their character to reflect. Period. :)
Keep in mind that when the player is rolling stats, the stats as rolled (or assigned) are for a Human. The 3-18 bell curve is based on Humans. Thus, if you're not rolling up a Human these stats won't be correct.

But those differences aren't hard-baked in the first place. NON-player demi-humans run the gamut of low to high in various stats just as humans do.
Agreed. BUT, the end points of those lows and highs will be different for each race.
For a particular stat there will be a higher percentage that are better or worse, but they aren't ALL better, nor ALL worse in the same way - nor should they be - NOR should we keep acting as if they are.
There will be exactly the same number who are better or worse than the racial average for that race: it'll be very slightly less than 50% that are higher, the exact same number that are lower, and the remaining few are bang on it...an average that very well might not be the same as the 10.5 average for a Human. So, here's how to accomplish this:

First, as DM decide what the low point and high point for each stat for each race will be, relative to a Human. Carrying on with the same example: Elves are dextrous, so it's simple to assume the clumsiest Elf is still going to be somewhat more dextrous than the clumsiest Human - so in Human terms the low Elf dex is 6. However, the most dextrous of Elves can reach levels of grace beyond what a Human can do, so let's put their high to 19.

So now Elvish dex is on a 6-19 bell curve; and you can either find some combination of dice to roll this or, much easier, just design a table to convert each result on the standard 3-18 bell curve to its corresponding number on 6-19.

Like this table right here. (if you scroll up from where this puts you you'll see the stat adjusts we use for each stat by race)

Note that sometimes stats get adjusted down - Part-Orc Charisma, for example, gets hammered. Hobbit and Gnome Strength doesn't do very well either. And so on.

Why does this need to be forcibly built into PLAYER character creation? Again, can't a player choose to create a NOT-above-human-averages-dexterity elf? Can't they choose to create a NOT-above-human-averages-constitution dwarf? If so, then let them.
Players can always do this, but they have to accept that both the system and the setting will more or less gently fight against them when they do.

If they want the "usually more dexterous" elf as their character, they can. They just assign a high score to Dex. If they want a "usually more high constitution" dwarf, they just assign a high score to Con.
Where instead they should be able to assign an average score to that stat and let the system convert it to whatever the average score would be for that race.

But can you argue that PLAYER characters MUST reflect those tendencies?
Yes I can, to the extent that if that's what the setting demands the player is somewhat obliged to go along with it. Sure a player can stick a 6 onto a Dwarf's Con score...but that's 6 on the Human bell curve; the same relative-to-average score for a Dwarf might be 9 or 10 in game terms.

Can't those tendencies be reflected by their choices in assigning stats as to whether their PC will demonstrate those tendencies or not?
Within race, sure. On the objective this-is-how-you-compare-to-a-Human scene, not so much.

I find it difficult to buy into that line of reasoning at all. If you take two characters with identical ability scores and hand them to two different players and say, "Your scores have been assigned. Make whatever character you like but there are no default RACIAL abilities," would you get all humans?
I think you'd get a lot of characters who played like Humans - even more so than now

If someone under those restrictions decides they DO want to play a demi-human despite not being bribed to do so by racial abilities within the game, wouldn't they still do so and still play their character AS a demi-human and not a human to at least SOME degree? I don't buy that ONLY mechanical benefits of a choice of race will produce results that don't seem like a re-fluffed human.
In fairness, you're making an assumption here for which I can't blame you as it's the way 5e is designed, but it's something I really don't like: that all racial abilities are benefits.

My philosophy runs more toward no benefit without penalty - it's easier to keep things balanced that way, and cut down on the arms-race aspect. Thus, if Elves are going to be on average more Dextrous then some other stat (in our game, Wisdom) is going to take a hit to compensate.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Simple: because that's what the race is. Thus, if you want to play an Elf you just have to accept the fact that Elves tend to be more dextrous than Humans
Yes, tend to.

In other worse, across the entire population of elves the gaussian distribution will have a peak somewhat higher than it is for other races. (Or compared to humans, if we are using that as a baseline.)

But:
  1. Chargen rules are for creating PCs, not the entire population of elves. The chargen rules don't have to produce that statistical shift.
  2. PCs are, by definition, outliers from the population.
I think you've chosen the wrong hill to die on. Man in the Funny Hat has nailed it.
 

bmfrosty

Explorer
Multiclassing looks like a bit of a trap in many cases...
It is in many cases, but there are a bunch of examples of 'take 1 level of rogue to get x more proficiencies.' things that I feels should be discouraged. I'm very tired of 'DPR' being a character concept.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
It's fine to say, for instance, that Elves tend on average to be more graceful than Humans, but don't hardwire that into a Dex bonus applied to every. single. Elf. Instead, let PCs CHOOSE whether they want to apply their ability score bonuses (which they would get for being adventurers, not because of Race) to the stereotypical scores, or whether to make their Elf different.
You already have the choice of whether you want your Elf to have higher or lower Dexterity than average. Nobody is stopping you from building an elf with 15 Strength and 10 Dex.

Likewise, not every bloody Elf, Dwarf or whatever would realistically all have identical training in the use of specific weapons - after all, Humans aren't all skilled in martial weapons, as witness the many baker, blacksmith, tavern keeper, merchant, etc. NPCS. Surely Elven and Dwarven societies have the equivalent? As written, the rules assume every member of those races get warrior training, which is ludicrous.
Because there's no precedent for any (pseduo-)Medieval European civilization to mandate bow practice for all able-bodied adults :cautious:

Remember, racial bonuses are bonuses. They're a little extra, on top of what you already get. You can build a perfectly functional character, without considering these bonuses at all. If you want to play one of the few elves who never learned to use a bow, in spite of ample time for practice and social encouragement, then I don't think many DMs are going to stop you; it's just that writing the option into a book would be a waste of space, since there's no good reason to opt out from free stuff.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes, tend to.

In other worse, across the entire population of elves the gaussian distribution will have a peak somewhat higher than it is for other races. (Or compared to humans, if we are using that as a baseline.)

But:
  1. Chargen rules are for creating PCs, not the entire population of elves. The chargen rules don't have to produce that statistical shift.
  2. PCs are, by definition, outliers from the population.
I think you've chosen the wrong hill to die on. Man in the Funny Hat has nailed it.
Where I posit the chargen rules do have to reflect that statistical shift somehow, as part of a greater reflection of the conceits of the setting; much the same as they reflect e.g. a setting's lack of Gnomes - if the setting doesn't have Gnomes, rolling up a Gnome and trying to play it isn't going to do you any good and will probably gas off the DM in the process.

The character is part of the setting, right?* Thus, if the setting dictates that Dwarves are generally tougher than Humans (which most if not all do) then a PC Dwarf in that setting at any point on the toughness bell curve should trend tougher than a Human at the same relative point on the bell curve. Further, if Dwarves are known to be tougher than Humans a player who wants to play a Dwarf is, I think, entitled to some expectation that the system will build that in somehow.

Either that, or the statistical shift has to disappear from the general population meaning all playable-creature culturess then run on Human stats.

* - if it isn't, and the character is seen purely as a game token and nothing more, then we're probably trying to compare apples and canoes.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Where I posit the chargen rules do have to reflect that statistical shift somehow, as part of a greater reflection of the conceits of the setting; much the same as they reflect e.g. a setting's lack of Gnomes - if the setting doesn't have Gnomes, rolling up a Gnome and trying to play it isn't going to do you any good and will probably gas off the DM in the process.
The setting doesn't tend to have Gnomes, or simply doesn't have Gnomes?

If the latter then you are comparing apples and oranges.

If the former, how exactly do you propose the chargen rules reflect that? Give them terrible ability scores so that people will tend to not choose that race?
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
The statistical shift of the general population will still be set by the DM. PLAYER characters do not need to always reflect or benefit from the statistical tendencies of the general population.
What is the point in playing a race if your character doesn't reflect that race?

Just play a human if you want to be human.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The setting doesn't tend to have Gnomes, or simply doesn't have Gnomes?

If the latter then you are comparing apples and oranges.

If the former, how exactly do you propose the chargen rules reflect that? Give them terrible ability scores so that people will tend to not choose that race?
Easy, if clunky - if you want a Gnome you have to roll against [whatever odds] and if you fail, no Gnome for you.

On a broader scale, I generally make basic races chooseable but if you want something exotic (e.g. a Gnome in this example) you have to roll on a chart and be prepared to play whatever you get even if it's nothing close to what you had in mind.

In my current setting this is in fact exactly the case: Gnomes exist but are very rare in most parts of the world, and to reflect this they're not usually chooseable* as a race - you have to roll on the chart for any hope of getting one.

* - unless the party happens to be in an area where there actually are some Gnomes; they'd be chooseable were someone to roll up a character at that point and have it join then.
 

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