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

Aldarc

Adventurer
I would like to see less reliance on advantage/disadvantage. It's elegant and simple, but I find that it's a bit too ubiquitious of a "solution," which I find takes away from the charm.

Clean up the action economy and interaction with other rules.

Rework ASIs and feats.

General Class Balance: Clean up the balance between short rest and long rest dependent (sub)classes. Plus, some general polish on classes that typically have mixed reviews (e.g., ranger, druid, sorcerer), even if they are more popular than other classes. This includes things like casters attempting to snipe the Warlock's EB, since it scales independently of the Warlock. Some capstones are more beneficial for other subclasses than others (e.g., Druid Capstone with the Circle of the Moon Druid).

Druid: I would also rework Druid Wildshape so people can pick a general form that scales better (e.g., Hunter, Predator, Guardian, Wings, etc.) and then slap on the aesthetic they want instead of having to memorize the animal catalogue of forms and upgrading them.

A spell-less Ranger and Paladin as default.

Warlord. (ducks)
 

Imaro

Adventurer
I'm going to assume good faith here.

It's not that I don't know how to be a DM. It's that my players want to do things--a lot of things--that aren't covered in the rules. See my first comment in this thread. One of the most rudimentary examples: What does Intimidate do in combat? The rules have no answer. How do I run a system that doesn't tell me what to do with basic situations like that?
What are your players trying to accomplish by using Intimidate in combat?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I would like it if they fixed HP bloat, but the only mandatory fix in a new edition is for healing.

It's ridiculous that anyone can survive taking twenty solid arrow hits, but it's insane that the wounds are gone after a nap.
That's actually intentional in 5e. Due to bounded accuracy, they can't just keep increasing defenses (AC & saves). So increasing HPs is the way to keep foes alive. It's supposed to keep them up for the same amount of time as if they had lesser HPs but a lot more misses/saves.

I'm not saying it's the right or only way to do it, but it's designed to fit a need, so it would have to be replaced by something else if removed.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
When they announced bounded accuracy, I foolishly assumed this meant HP would also be in smaller numbers. Whoops.
Bounded accuracy leading to an increase in HPs should become clear with a bit of thought. Bounded accuracy means they can't keep more powerful creatures alive through increased defenses, so HP is the knob they have left to do so.
 

Eric V

Explorer
Easy. Make it up. Make rulings. You're the DM - you tell the game what to do, rather than the reverse.

It's the opposite philosohy from 3e or PF, where there's a rule for everything.
Is it possible this is a false binary, though? I am not sure @anahata is asking for stone tablet rules, but maybe some examples of how some of this might work in play for some DMs would be helpful? It's a DM Guide, after all.

No one's infringing on "DM decides;" just asking for things to make a better decision.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
A philosophy of "If its your thing, you should be doing it all the time, not just X per day."

It's kind of lackluster to be a low level Battlemaster, Monk, or whatever and have to sit on your stockpile of resources for an encounter because you have to save them for the entire day.

Kind of like how they adopted cantrips for casters because spellcasters are supposed to cast spells.
I have a different feel on this.

I don't want to see the same manuever time after time after time. It's boring. But by the same reason, the idea of "why can I only riposte three times a short rest" makes little sense.

Personally, in a homebrew I'm playing with the idea that at the beginning of each round a die is rolled to indicate "opportunities" that round. And each character that has special features as maked each with one or more numbers from 1-12 (or whatever the die size is). So this round may be a "6", which is no special abilities for Brandar the Barbarian, an opponent leaving themselves open to beign tripped for Fredik the Fighter, and an ability to stab in the vitals for Relin the Rogue. Of course, Relin has that ability on four different numbers out of the 12, and Brandar has 8 different feats of fury on his opportunity list, just none happened to be on a 6.

My biggest problem is getting in the way of player creativity. If there's sand on the floor, can they scoop it up to try to temporarily blind at any time, or do I have a die number for environment - i.e. the time when everything comes together to do so. But there's other parts of player creativity that aren't so easily dependant on external factors. The second biggest is if I do it for monsters they all do the same thing at the same time which is odd, but lots of rolls is slowing, etc.

Getting back to uses per X - resource management doesn't always make the most narrative sense, but it can work from a gamist point of view as a balance. Because if you can do something all the time it can't be better then any other option otherwise it will always displace those lesser options. Having some ability to go above and beyond is good for the game, and there needs to be a way to manage it that doesn't get in the way. I'm open for other things, but I am for characters having more powerful but use-restricted abilities.
 
I think I would like paladins to have a warlock matrix: pick an oath (to hit something, to guard something, or to find something) and pick an oath taker (celestial, fiend, fey, ancestor spirit). Oaths make you good at something particular, as does oath takers. [For the white roomers, hit something oath fiend oath taker would be the best damage dealer, but don't waste your time trying to heal anything, a barbarian with a medical kit is twice the healer you will be].

I would pick a different mechanical identity for warlocks. Warlocks can change into one thing, that gets better as they level up (and even better if they spend invocations on it). Druids can change into a bunch of things, but a druid's wolf at level 20 will be about the same as the one at level 3, while the warlock's dark wolf will be considerably more powerful at level 20 than at level 3. I could see something like a shadow form being good for stealth, not combat, so 'locks wouldn't have to change in a fight.

I haven't figured out what this would look like, but I would like fighters to have a mechanism for getting better the longer the fight goes (maybe related to con). Make them "main event" fighters.

I would add spiritual damage (like psychic damage). Paladin's smites and some cleric spells would use it (also angels/devils/demons/etc. would do some spiritual damage when they hit).
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
The other pillars are really built around one character taking control of the situation, while everyone else sits back and waits for them to finish. While the fighter is running the obstacle course up to the lever to open the door, the other three players are just sitting back and waiting for them to finish.
This is a really good observation. I don't think it's a "problem" from how we want RPGs mimic reality - there are times in RL when one person does the talking, or one person reads the maps, or fixes the technical problem. And mechanically doing something that mut involve everyone at times when it's not needed might foster the opposite result. If, for example, we make everyone involved in a negotiation, then the uncouth barbarian may be lowering everyone's choices and decide next time not to go witht he party at all which even further isolates that player.

Hmm, what do we expect in this case from an RPG mechanically? Is there a different goal we should be shooting for?
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Classes that feel like the class from first level, including subclass choice. If I want to play a more Strength oriented Valor Bard I have to play through 2 levels with an atrocious AC and nothing to back up the intended feel of the subclass.

Less disjointed resource management. Classes like Monks and Paladins often have several different pools of resources to manage that it can be hard to keep track of some of which renew on short rests and some of which renew on long rests. Some like Channel Divinity and Ki are in a combined pool while things like Lay On Hands and Bardic Inspiration have their own pool for a single ability.

Clear templates and more precise design language. Lay out the book so it is easy to use in the middle of play if you need to look something up.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
Bounded accuracy leading to an increase in HPs should become clear with a bit of thought. Bounded accuracy means they can't keep more powerful creatures alive through increased defenses, so HP is the knob they have left to do so.
I don't think that it had to, though. You still have incredibly hard to hit creatures with significant defensive abilities like legendary resistance. And HP and defense are only two knobs in a bigger machine. More powerful creatures could have other defensive abilities, or could be more deadly in combat than others. However, this might be too significant a change for a lot of tables compared to expectations.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I'm going to assume good faith here.

It's not that I don't know how to be a DM. It's that my players want to do things--a lot of things--that aren't covered in the rules. See my first comment in this thread. One of the most rudimentary examples: What does Intimidate do in combat? The rules have no answer. How do I run a system that doesn't tell me what to do with basic situations like that?
I think the issue is assuming that Intimidate does anything different in combat then it does out-of-combat. The results of the social skills have always been for the DM to adjudicate. In other words, combat/non-combat is an arbitrary distinction and it has the same effects in either.

Things like specific DCs and effects were done in earlier editions but dropped. Hard rules for social skills lead to things like "Diplomancers" from 3.5 where a hyper-focused build could make any NPC stop hostilities or agree to anything.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I don't think that it had to, though. You still have incredibly hard to hit creatures with significant defensive abilities like legendary resistance.
No, as a general rule you do not. Sure there are a few exceptions, but the average AC for high CR 15+ is easily reachable. Target AC by CR according the DMG is:

CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Saves are even lower. With only two saves being proficient, and that often overlapping a foe's good ability scores, there usually only have 2-4 good saves and 2 or more at minimal levels that are trivial for casters to overcome. A high level caster has a good number of known/prepared spells and should be able to target them.

And HP and defense are only two knobs in a bigger machine. More powerful creatures could have other defensive abilities, or could be more deadly in combat than others. However, this might be too significant a change for a lot of tables compared to expectations.
Other knobs: the ones I see are things like resistance and immunity. Those seem to be better applied where they fit, instead of just randomly given out to high CR creatures wholesale. And really, is there much difference to adding in a large number of resistances including B/P/S and just having more HPs?

"Could be more deadly in combat": I'm not sure how this addresses a creature's longevity in combat. I think you are saying they should be more glass-cannon-like - go down quicker but have done more damage in that time so everything evens out. shrug That would work, though likely would be more swingy and put more important on initiative because a single action more or less could be 50% of it's total damage output for the combat.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I think the issue is assuming that Intimidate does anything different in combat then it does out-of-combat. The results of the social skills have always been for the DM to adjudicate. In other words, combat/non-combat is an arbitrary distinction and it has the same effects in either.
I think you're correct, but I also think that D&D, throughout all of the editions, has fostered this arbitrary distinction.

I am reminded of certain older CRPGs where you would wander around on one screen, and then combat would cause you to enter a new, tactical screen, just for that combat.

That's why, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the edition, there has always been a divide between the combat portions of D&D and non-combat portions of D&D that is fostered by the RAW (which tend to give the majority of the attention to combat, and usually operate with the premise that advancement in the game is premised on combat).

There are a number of ways to emphasize the other pillars of D&D, but I don't think it's inaccurate to say that D&D often fosters this divide.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I'm in the camp that would like to see 6E be largely backwards compatible with 5E; more of a 5.5. What I would like in 6E whenever it comes out:

1. Drastically scale back the use of bonus actions. You should never have an expectation of using your bonus action every round (two-weapon fighting, I'm looking at you), and you should not have to worry about bonus-action abilities "clashing" often unless you are multiclassing or doing something really exotic. Also, the bonus-action spells rule should be replaced with "You cannot cast more than one non-cantrip spell per turn."

2. Assorted class and subclass fixes. In many cases this would involve migrating features from 5E supplements into the PHB. For instance, some the hexblade's abilities should be incorporated into the Pact of the Blade.

3. Rework the stealth rules to be more intuitive and apply more cleanly to situations other than "rogue ducks behind a rock mid-combat." (Question: If you are invisible and standing in the area of a silence spell, what does an enemy have to do in order to detect your location? Answer: Nothing, they automatically know. But you can take the Hide action and then they might lose track of you.)

4. A few tweaks to the core races. Nonhumans should get more flexibility in their stat boosts. Humans need a happy medium in between the "+1 to all stats human," which sucks, and the "free bonus feat human," which is godlike.

5. Clean up and clarify how a lot of things work*. The Shield Master feat is the poster child for this - at one point the official ruling was that you could shove before your attack, and then it changed to you have to attack first, and Orcus alone knows what happens if you have Extra Attack. Maybe they could borrow somebody from the "Magic: The Gathering" side of the company to lend a hand--M:tG has gotten very good at boiling down complex mechanics into crystal-clear, unambiguous wording that fits on a playing card and leaves room for a picture.

6. Short rests should go back to being 5 minutes long. Perhaps add a limit of 2 short rests per day; that's the house rule I've been going with for a while, and I find it works well to ensure that classes with short-rest mechanics stay on par with their long-resting companions.

*Note that I don't believe everything needs to be codified in rules. That was the cardinal mistake of 3E, and I have no desire to go back to that. But anything that is codified in rules should be clear and unambiguous. DMs shoulder too much work as it is, we shouldn't have to be WotC's copy editors as well.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
More guidance for the DM. What does Intimidate do in combat?
As for ideas about what might be achievable - Many of the fighters maneuvers could be couched as an effect achievable via intimidation pushing, distracting, menacing, goading for example maybe even a trip or commanders strike. (evasive footwork becomes menacing glare which darts from enemy to enemy as they attempt to hit you)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think the issue is assuming that Intimidate does anything different in combat then it does out-of-combat. The results of the social skills have always been for the DM to adjudicate. In other words, combat/non-combat is an arbitrary distinction and it has the same effects in either.
Perhaps.

Now, wouldn't it be super-cool if the people who designed the game might be able to give some suggestions - not hard rules, but suggestions - on working with that, seeing as the timescales we are talking about (seconds for combat, vs. minutes or hours out of combat) are not the same? Or maybe some thoughts about how you might have the skills have different effects in each realm?

It isn't like everyone is good with making rulings right out of the box. A lot of people haven't been playing for decades. Maybe having someone really experienced supply some ideas would be useful for folks, hm?
 
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