D&D General Help Me Build the D&D Game I Want to Run

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Here's the list of guidelines I sent to my group for a playtest this week just to see what we may or may not cover in a 3 or 4 hour session:

CORE BOOKS ONLY

Create 4th level characters.

Available Backgrounds: all PHB backgrounds

Available Races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling. NOTE: Any race that has Darkvision has Low light vision instead.

Available Classes (and Archetypes): Barbarian (Berserker), Bard (Lore), Cleric (Knowledge, Life or War), Fighter (Champion or Battle Master), Paladin (Devotion), Ranger (Hunter), Rogue (Thief), Wizard (all PHB traditions allowed).

No feats. No multiclassing.

Equipment: Starting equipment plus up to 200 gp additional gear. No magic items.

Spells: The following spells are banned
Continual Flame, Create or Destroy Water, Darkvision, Gentle Repose, Goodberry, Purify Food and Drink, Rope Trick

OPTIONAL RULES IN PLACE

Slow Natural healing: You only heal by way of spending hit dice, which you recover normally (½ your total after a long rest).

If you use a healing kit and succeed at a DC 15 medicine check, you may spend hit dice outside of a short rest by taking 10 minutes.

If you are not safe and secure (such as in town or a fortress), Short rests take 8 hours and long rests take 72 hours. When in town or similar, normal rests apply.

On a failed death saving throw you gain a level of exhaustion.

Encumbrance will be counted, along with consumables such as ammo, rations and components.

Lingering injuries on critical hit.

Madness.

Massive damage.

NPC/monster Morale checks.
Looks good overall. Like I said in the beginning I would probably enjoy this flavor of game.

I assume your Lowlight vision makdes Dim light into Bright, but has no effect on Darkness? We have that for some races, but I call it "Shadowsight."
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Looks good overall. Like I said in the beginning I would probably enjoy this flavor of game.

I assume your Lowlight vision makdes Dim light into Bright, but has no effect on Darkness? We have that for some races, but I call it "Shadowsight."
yeah. I was going to go with doubles the distances of light sources. I really think darkvision is a problem in a game where there is dungeon crawling.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
yeah. I was going to go with doubles the distances of light sources. I really think darkvision is a problem in a game where there is dungeon crawling.
LOL, you would cringe at my sorlock in our CoS game. A Shadow Magic Sorcerer (120' darkvision) and warlock (with 120' devil's sight). So, up to 120' he sees every condition as Bright light. And he is our scout... with 240' agonizing EBs. ;)
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
yeah. I was going to go with doubles the distances of light sources. I really think darkvision is a problem in a game where there is dungeon crawling.
So, you are doubling the bright light and dim light ranges? Hmm... that is even more powerful than our shadowsight. :unsure:
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Torches are 20/20 so 40/40 doesn't seem so bad.
No, it isn't. But darkvision 60' (normal) means past 60 feet all is dark. Your torch with lowlight would allow them to see out to 80 feet (even if dim, which only affects perception but not attacks or spells). So, you are actually letting them see 20 feet further than normal darkvision would enable. Is that your goal?

OTOH, Shadowsight would provide bright light to 40 feet (normally dim light for a torch is 21-40), but darkness beyond, so it is worse than normal darkvision (which was our goal).
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
No, it isn't. But darkvision 60' (normal) means past 60 feet all is dark. Your torch with lowlight would allow them to see out to 80 feet (even if dim, which only affects perception but not attacks or spells). So, you are actually letting them see 20 feet further than normal darkvision would enable. Is that your goal?

OTOH, Shadowsight would provide bright light to 40 feet (normally dim light for a torch is 21-40), but darkness beyond, so it is worse than normal darkvision (which was our goal).
Interesting. I might try it both ways and see what works best.
 

Well, that really isn't up to the players, is it? It is up to the DM.

We rarely get long rests during an adventure or while traveling unless we know we can expect relative safety. As I wrote we've been playing that 0 hp imposes a level of exhaustion and we've had characters recover full HP through healing, but have 2 or even 3 lingering levels of exhaustion but still "on the adventure" simply because we aren't at a point where we can take a long rest.

The idea of the 5MWD is completely at the whim of the DM IMO. If you don't want it, just don't let it happen.

Tiny Hut.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
So first, let me describe the game I want to run:

The aesthetic is relatively gritty and "realistic" in the sense that Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings or Abercrombie's worlds are: people need to eat, they get tired, wounds hurt and while fantastical elements exist and may even be prominent and powerful, they aren't common.

...

Now, I know some folks are going to say "Use something besides 5E" and that is a totally fine suggestion, except that I WANT to use a modified 5E for this.

Well, on the contrary I would suggest you do use 5E, but to keep house rules at a minimum.

It's clear to me that you want an injury/wound system. The DMG optional rule deals temporary wounds, be aware that before any PC can cast Restoration many of these wounds would last indefinite, but once they have the spell they will last 1 round and your gritty flavour is lost. So it's a rules module that works well only at low levels. If you decide to use it, I suggest to use the 2nd or 3rd trigger option, NOT the critical hits otherwise you risk a death spiral.

Then obviously consider a variant for slow healing if you want, but keep in mind that having a Cleric in the party can shift the feeling back to easy healing.

I don't think you need more "rules". The rest of your ideas are covered by managing the campaign/world events at the appropriate pace and giving them the feeling you want. You will want to track food, encumbrance, mundane equipment, weather, perhaps even spell components if you're into it, but you don't really need written "rules" for these. You should also probably avoid rules on poisons and curses, as they tend to make them all feel very mechanical, while in your case story-driven poisons etc. will do much better; that means to make each case different and no rule will ever match your own creative design.
 

A friend of mine ran a 'zombie apocalypse' 5e game, the premise of which was basically, "The White Walkers got through the wall."

It was heavily driven by resource management, scouting the wilderness, and being terrified of exceptionally well-run undead. Seriously, send 6 zombies at a party, and have them, in order, Grab, then Shove to trip, and only then start to attack for damage.

The GM had short rests be a day, and long rests be a week. Moreover, it was harder to fall unconscious, so that you'd spend more time adventuring while suffering from grisly injuries. Instead of using the lingering wounds system, he leaned heavily on the Exhaustion levels.

When you took damage that reduced you to 0 HP, you remained conscious, but suffered from two 'virtual' levels of exhaustion, which would go away if you got back above 0 HP. You did not have to roll death saves each turn due to being at 0 HP, however every time you took damage while at 0 HP, you made a death save, and if you failed, you took a 'real' level of exhaustion.

What happened in our first fight was that my slow dwarf in chainmail got swarmed by zombies, grabbed, and tripped. The rest of the party tried to kill the zombies, but that's actually pretty hard at 1st level. However, I kept taking the Dodge action while pinned and being gnawed on, and my Con save was pretty good, so over the course of 6 rounds I only failed 2 death saves, which left me with 2 real and 2 virtual exhaustion levels, so I could barely manage to stagger on with the party.

It took me weeks to recover from that, since each one-week long rest only removed one level of exhaustion, so I rolled up another 'survivor' to join the team, and we were a hell of a lot more cautious about zombies after that.
 

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