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

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I really hate the low light visions and abundance of light cantrips in this game. My last campaign had a Bard, Sorcerer, and a Cleric which meant there were 3 light cantrips going at all times. One solution to that problem I am using with my next campaign is to make light cantrips into a concentration spell.

The Sorcerer might have to decide mid dungeon to drop his light cantrip on the fly if he needs to cast Spider Climb or Hold Person. That Bard isn't going to be able to maintain his light if he wants to cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter or Faerie Fire. The Cleric has to drop his light if he wants to cast Silence or Spirit Guardians. These are just a couple quick examples but it forces them to make a choice. Dropping that light cantrip might throw a part of a room into darkness, creating a danger for the players.
I was also considering making Light concentration.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
We played the first part of a two session test with the house rules. It went well enough. Much of it was consumed by travel, but I used a variant of the system in Zweihander so it was interesting and fun without relying on constant combats.

One thing I learned: the Outlander background is yet another example of 5e trying to eliminate the resource management aspect of play. As a background it let's one pc feed six with no check required. Good thing the party sent so much time buying supplies...

Anyway, we finished one fight and one pc in particular got beat up and a few used some key abilities. I'll be curious whether they risk the time to rest or push on next time.
 

Mepher

Adventurer
One thing I learned: the Outlander background is yet another example of 5e trying to eliminate the resource management aspect of play. As a background it let's one pc feed six with no check required. Good thing the party sent so much time buying supplies...

That is one thing I never understood. I know that strict tracking of all resources (food, water, ammo, spell components, encumbrance, etc) can really turn people off these days but to completely eliminate ALL resources just seems like lazy design imo. There are times where limited resources can create adventures and tension on their own.

I try to strike a balance in my games. When my players are in an urban setting or temperate wilderness, I don't worry about tracking water and food. They should be readily available through either purchase or hunting. I don't worry about tracking arrows when they are traveling overland. I just assume that they are able to recover enough of their arrows to continue on and restock when in the next village.

Now all bets are off when they enter other settings. The party decides they are heading into the underdark and don't know when they will return, better make sure you have food, water, and ammo. The party walks through some ancient portal they find in some ruined wizard tower and find themselves stranded in an arctic environment? Better have your resources, including clothing.

Player vs Environment can be the main antagonist in your adventure if done properly. Dark Sun was such a brutal setting and many people loved it for that simple reason.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
We ended up having some fun with random weather. I used a super simple system -- it was late summer, early fall on a large temperate island, so each morning we rolled a 1d6. If the result was equal to or less than the number of days since the last rain (so 1 on the first day, 2 on the 2nd and so on) it rained, and then we rolled a 1d10 for severity (on a simple 1 to 10 scale of drizzle to monsoon). If the severity was 5-8 they lost half a day and suffered disadvantage on both survival and perception checks. On a 9 or 10 they lost a day and those checks were impossible. If they did not hunker down they were guaranteed a level of exhaustion and might blunder into a random encounter with no forewarning. Amazingly, they kept rolling 1s and it rained most their whole miserable trek. They ended up losing almost 3 days to weather and failed survival checks. Most of the random encounters were of the "found a strange thing" variety so I did some foreshadowing of what awaited them (manticores) and just random weirdness (a pool where pixies met to enchant their sleep arrows in the water, just based on a one liner from the forest chart). It was the most fun I have had running an extended travel in a while. Extending the length of the travel would have been more impactful if they had to worry about rations, though.

I am going to make the weather rolls a little more complex and use a bell curve so there is only 1 roll (sever weather will be in the outlier results) and build custom encounter charts with plenty of non combat stuff, but it was a good test.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
This is the weather "system" we currently use:

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Nothing complex, but it might be a starting point for you.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Nothing complex, but it might be a starting point for you.
Interesting. I like it. I think the temperature thing should be seasonal with one "extreme" result (frigid in the winter and blistering in the summer), but otherwise it is a good starting place. Thanks.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Interesting. I like it. I think the temperature thing should be seasonal with one "extreme" result (frigid in the winter and blistering in the summer), but otherwise it is a good starting place. Thanks.
The temperature is relative to spring/fall. I would recommend shifting the categories one spot for summer towards the high end and one spot lower for winter. So, for example, in winter a roll of 2-3 would also require a DC 10 CON save daily to avoid a level of exhaustion.

Other factors should be taken into consideration. For example, if you don't have adequate water, the DC check for exhaustion in blistering weather should either be raised to 10 or made with disadvantage, etc.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
It's hard to articulate but I feel like trying to make 5E feel like 2E/BECM is sort of like bad sci fi TV aliens: you know they are just people in rubber masks. Am I barking up the wrong tree? The 5E DNA is strong, and even with curated player options and house rules it still feels like 5E.
 

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