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D&D 5E Hopes for 5e


I'm a fan of both 3.x/Pathfinder and 4e. I see the positives and negatives of both systems and I've got my own hopes for 5e.

I'll start by saying I love where 4e was going, esp as a DM.

Breaking the monster/DM side of 4e, making it more complex like 3.x/PF would be a negative on my scorecard. I don't want to deal with monster level adjustment or monsters having to be built the same as players. If players want to play a monstrous race, I'll build a race entry for them. Don't complicate the DM side, I have enough to deal with while the players do the unexpected. I don't think I can stress enough how much I love current 4e monster design and statblocks.

Powers/Power Sources:
I like the concept of powers and power sources. I enjoy how they are done in 4e and it makes explaining character building to newer players easy. "This is the minimum actions your character can do, use your imagination and roleplay everything else." However, I'd have rather had 4e class powers not by class, but by power source. Lump all the martial powers together. Lump all the arcane together, Divine, Psionic, etc. Each power source would have design guidlines of mechanics that powers should incoporate and mechanics they could lightly dabble in. Classes then, would be "spell lists" that would say what powers in a given powersource pool had access to at given levels and powers shared between classes instead of unique to classes. I think the arcane power source has been edging close to this.

Fighters might have their power list solely in the Martial pool. Rogues would be mostly martial with a toe dipped in the Shadow pool and maybe the Arcane pool. Paladins a split between Martial pool and Divine pool, Artificers split between Arcane and Divine, you get the idea. This would make creating custom classes a lot simpler and reduce work I would think.

I think the racial powers are mostly fine.

I really like how multiclassing works in theory in 4e. Whatever my base class is, I want to always continue in my base class and get features/powers/whatever from it. I like dabbling in other base classes via feat selection and can determine how deeply I want to swim in that class. I like how PP and ED drape on top of my base class. Hybrids are an interesting option. I think it acheived what it set out to do in 4e.
I do not like 3.x multiclassing at all.

I like what 4e did with skills (despite stealth being refreshed a few times, the final version is nice). I understand the 3.x crowd likes putting ranks into skills to show profiency. It shows mastery (or lack thereof) of skills and what my character can do in it's off time. I'm not a fan of this. I like being able to say "I'm trained at this skill" and "My race has a better affinity with this skill" and "Members of my class are generally decent with this skill" and be done with it. When building characters above first level (and even at first level), making sure where and when your ranks go into a skill was tedious and slows down creation considerably as I plan out my character. If I change my mind later down the road, this can have a large impact on my character. I feel the rank system rewards system mastery above having fun with the game. Furthermore, if for whatever reason you lost a level, remembering which skills got what and when can be a pain, leading to further slow down. I like my +5 trained and racial/class bonuses plus attribute mod. Nice, simple, fast.

I also understand the 3.x crowd likes the craft, perform, profession, and knowledge skills. Personally, I'm not a big fan of them, as they clutter up the char sheet, and DM wise, I don't want a check against a skill that I consider completely optional during character creation to be required in an adventure. Aside from Bard, I don't really see a need for perform. Crafting, and Profession... my characters kill things and takes it's stuff. If I'm not out adventuring, I don't really care what my character is doing. He may have been profession(banker) or craft(armor) at one point in his life, but now he is adventuring. I'm out looking for that rare material to craft with, I'm out exploring ruins with a treasure map that i found in the vault of my bank. When I'm done adventuring, I'm not going to have my character somehow fail and ruin teh dragon scale I spent a year adventuring for. I want to simply spend the gp/materials and end up with Dragon Scale Armor after several months in my forges. I'm certainly not going back to banking or farming until my character retires.

Perform is a slightly different beast. I don't want it tied to a single attribute, as say, perform(dancing) might be attached to dex, while perform(actor) would be atttched to cha. Personally, I think other skills and attribute rolls can handle this, but I can see the desire for it. I also think the use of Performing is more related to skill challenges during scenes. Performing for the target as a distraction while others do the wet work.

I like how the Knowledge skills were done in 4e and feel this is the best way to deal with them.

If my players insisted on these types of skills, I'd allow them, and some form of rank system under the label of "Background Skills", an entirely optional subsystem for roleplyaing. I'd much rather have my more important skills grouped with my stats on the front of my character sheet.

Skill Challenges:
In theory, I feel this is a great system. In implentation, it varies wildly. It's entirely up to the DM how to approach them whether they are clearly announced as such, or hidden behind the scenes. Obviously hidden behind the scenes so that the players are unaware they are in a skill challenge is best, but this goes with DM experience. It's a good crutch for new DMs to play out scenes, but attention needs to be made on explaining and giving examples on how to make this invisible to the player via story telling.

I like healing surges. I think they heal too much. I think players have too many under 4e rules without a good way to spend them.
I'd like to see them heal for 1/5th instead of 1/4 HP. I want other uses for healing surges. It's a resource, let me manage it better. Let me spend 2 for an automatic success on a death saving throw. Why am I dying if I have healing surges stocked up? Let me spend 1 for a fudge die roll. How about 3 to regain an action point, or 4 to regain an encounter, or 5 for a daily.

On the subject of dying, I'm not a fan of death saving throw failures reseting between short rests. Extended rests sure, but not short. Let me spend healing surges to recover a failed death saving throw. Spend that resource!

Condition Track from SAGA:
I like this. Find a way to bring it in.

This is a hard one. Some people don't like having to take certain feats to maintain threat against monsters. But how to balance? I like the idea of at a certain level, each class has a class feature that lets you select as a bonus feat from a pool of what are essentially "math tweak feats", yet allow the character to specialize in something. For the arcane, you've got wand, staff, orb etc things you can add small effects in addition to the math tweak, martial, you can have similar concept for weapon groups. Just embed it as a class feature so people stop complaing about feat taxes, at least on this issue.

Personally, I'd like the monster system of 4e to remain unchanged and carry forward. Having a nice stable of monsters that I know inside and out from day 1 would be great.

Rituals and Martial Practices:
Good in theory. Needs better implementation. Hopefully the lessons from 4e will assist with this. Lower costs, using healing surges, etc.

Magic Items:
Much better now with the rarity system. Needs to be in the hands of the DM (not necesarrily the DMG) from day 1. Lessons learned from 4e about balance and property distribution need to be applied here. Needs more low level utilitarian artifacts that are clever roleplaying seeds for the player instead of just the next level armor, weapon, belt, etc.

I like the AC and NAD defenses. Keep 'em. Make sure each class has the option to select a power or two to hit something besides AC.

I love the 3.x/PF books. They are beautiful on the outside and inside. I love the cover artwork and illustrations in the 4e books, but I miss the 3.x/PF polish on the inside. On the plus side, everything in 4e is very easy on the eyes with blocked powers and such. I didn't have to read paragraph after paragraph on a page to find the one little feature I was looking for.

As done by 3.x/PF, no thank you. However, I am very open to preparing encounter spells. I already have to select from my choice of Dailies. Perhaps I have encounter selection as per 4e, but I get 1 extra encounter slot per tier where I can slot an encounter of my choosing from whatever encounter spells I know, including a second use of a normal encounter choice. I would be fine with this level of fiddly. It allows my character to discover new spells (something I like from 3.x/PF), have some added flexibility, and yet still have a core schtick that I use battle after battle and don't have to reference my book every time I take an extended rest.
Balance of both Vancian and AEDU worlds.

Interupts are a small pain as a DM that brings combat to a grind (at least with new players. Experience players not so much) as things rewind. Esp having two different forms of interrupt and having to explain them. I do like them, but perhaps they can be done differently.

The rules for 3D are finally close enough to enjoy, but still awkward to explain. When encouraging having varied terrain, battles in the air, and underwater, this should be carefully thought out and gotten right the first time.

I like bursts and blasts. They are quick and simple. Cones are a pain.

I like 4e diagonal movement. It's faster. Thinking of movement in squares instead of feet is one less layer of abstraction I need to worry about unless I really need to know the distance of something, like during a jump over a gorge.

I like 4e Charging rules.

I like Auras and zones, esp for swarms.

Great concept! Add Mooks (2 hit minions). A crit auto kills a mook. Add rules for crits on minions. Allow a crit to also kill another adjacent minion, or half damage on an adjacent non-minion, or auto kill another minion in a burst.

As mentioned earlier, I think class powers should be power lists. However, class features is where each class should stand out. They should have some custom mechanic system specific to that class, outside of powers. This, I think, is where both PF and martial Essentials shine. This mechanic should get better without the use of feats as the character levels. Feats instead should stretch the mechanic in different directions, not affecting power. Example from 3.x/PF, metamagic feats. Example from 4e, dragonborn breath feats.

I love how 4e handles races. Bonuses and features, not penalties. Use lessons learned from 4e to better plan the races. Don't skimp on races in the first books. Eberron players need our gnomes, orcs, half-orcs, kalashtar and warforged, FR needs their drow, and DS need their muls and goliaths.

Use schemas. Standardize your xml. Release schemas to public. Allow custom stuff in tools that validates with the schemas. Really liking current Dungeon and Dragon, but I miss print magazines. Have some sort of POD ability for Dungeon and Dragon monthly. POD of previous editions for subscribers. I'd much rather have dead tree than PDF, but that's me.

Meh, don't care. Obviously don't give everything away like the OGL, but have the damn GSL ready on time, friendly to publishers, and UPDATED with new terms and such as books get released.
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This post captures most of my thoughts - I agree with nearly all of these points.

However, I am not sure that power source should be or will be an important element going forward. FWIW I am not sure that roles will be important either.

Power sources should be just about flavor/tone of the class and roles have been gradually breaking down post essential (ie defender barbarians in the Feywild book).

Traditionally I hope they keep the cosmology of 4th edition - i love the shadowfell etc


Rituals and Marital Practices:
Good in theory. Needs better implementation.
Oops? ;)

On a more productive note, I disagree with a lot of your preferences. More often than not, in fact. However, I hope the designers are keeping an eye on this forum, and take your views into account. If they're aiming for modular design, they might need to cater to your tastes, as well as the opposite. That is, if they want the game to be "your D&D", whoever you might be. As always, play what you like :)


Power sources per se as 4e may not continue forward in current form, but some have always been there since the beginning. Martial, Arcane, and Divine at the minimum, with Psionics frequently tacked on.

LOL! good catch!

For my ideal version of DnD, I want character creation to take 10-15 minutes for a level 1 char with pen and paper, and very little additional time per added level. I want to get in the game quickly. 4e does this for me decently, where as 3.x/PF does not. However, there a lot of class feature and neat design work I like about some of the PF classes that 4e lacks. I'm in favor of sidelining certain simulation bits to the back of the char sheet as optional, such as some of the skills. I want the most important information large and well organized so I can find it quickly.

I really like how with the DDI CB I have my stats and skills on two cards I can put back to back in a clear card sleave. Outside of combat, this is all I need for a roleplay session. Simple and distilled. For combat, I have the power cards for my combat options. This is beneficial for those that don't like battle grids and minis (I prefer them) and don't care for powers in that there is little more info that they could need for playing from that one card sleeve (at least on the martial front). If you know of any bonus from weapons, the rest is easily derived from your stats and the DM ajudicates accordingly.

Most importantly, I want compartmentalized monsters and the encounter building that 4e has. I don't have to go looking up this or that feat, spell, ability while at the table, it's utility is spelled out right there for me in the statblock. File off some serial numbers, swap around a couple powers with easy accuracy and damage guidelines, drape some fluff on it and I have a completely new monster ready to attack my players.

This kind of simplicity on the DM side is seriously powerful juju that I don't get in the 3.x/PF world.


First Post
Do we really even need skills anymore? Every time we've used them in our campaign it seemed rather arbitrary.

Maybe they'd be more fun if they unlocked abilities, like the perk system in Skyrim.


Here's my list...

Abilities: Bell curve the bonuses/penalties: 13-15 = +1, 16-17 = +2, 18-19 = +3

Core Races: Dwarf, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Human (sorry Half-Orcs, Gnomes, Tieflings, etc.)

Core Classes: Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, Rogue, Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer (see magic below), Wizard.

Prestige Classes: None. Proliferation of classes is part of the problem with later iterations of D&D.

Magic: I would keep Vancian spell levels/slots, but I would remove the restrictions on memorizing or praying in advance for specific spells. Wizards have to study, clerics have to pray, but they don't have to select, say a bless, detect magic, etc. in advance. Sorcerers would be an amalgam - they cast through their own internal power (source being only a role-playing concern, no in-game benefit), and can draw from any spell list, but with limits as to the maximum different spells they can know. In essence, merge the sorcerer and favored soul of 3.x into a single class. Simplify the spell lists. Druids have to be in a natural environment to cast.

Combat: Simplify. If you want to disarm, it's an opposed attack roll, better hit number succeeds. Ditto for bull rush, trip, and all that jazz. List of combat maneuvers with results. AC & hit rolls as in 3E (keep the math simple)

Skills: Skills are either trained or untrained, and either class or cross-class. No skill points. At every level, PC's can learn a new skill or add a +1 roll to an existing skill. Maximum +bonus would be equal to 1/4 character level (no ubering up the bonuses). Streamline skills (ie, perception in Pathfinder vs. Spot/Listen/Search in 3.x). Class skill gets +level if trained, +1/2 level if untrained or trained cross-class, or zero if untrained cross class. Attribute bonuses or penalties modify rolls.

Feats: Eliminated, and replaced with a similar +1 bonus, but to a specific combat maneuvers or skills. Limits as under skills. Option to learn a non-class weapon group in lieu of a bonus. Group weapon proficiency into groups (axes, swords, bows, crossbows, etc.) - makes no sense that a non-warrior type would spend a feat to learn longsword, and be non-proficient with a short sword (blade is just a foot shorter, otherwise very similar).

Multiclassing and Dual Classing. Multi-classing as old 1/2E for demi-humans, dual classing as 3E for humans. Limit of 3 classes, and none from the same category (no barbarian/fighter/rangers - too gamey). Limit of 1 spellcasting class in a combo.

Attacks of opportunity: Pretty much only if you cast a spell or move away.

Critical hits: no change

Monsters: All of the traditional D&D Monsters should be in the core MM #1. Don't make us wait for 2, 3, etc. for frost giants or beholders.

Keep the 3E intiative system. It takes a bit to set up, but runs nicely and gives people at the table a nice potty break.

I would expand the number of saves to six, with each save being modified by an attribute. This is to eliminate min/maxing (no more charisma as a dump stat).


Here's mine just to chime off the OP. If I was to design 5e, here's my wishlist.

Smaller stat blocks.

Smaller list. For fantasy games in general, unless it's a toolkit system like Hero System or GURPS, skills should number 15-20 max.

The scaling math needs to be scaled down so that a +1 bonus to something means something. BAB and save progression is also lower. DC's are lower. HD is lower (wizards back to d4, clerics and rogues d6, fighters d8). That way, even at highest levels, you're not adding +35 to something, but maybe around +15. Take the bonuses out of magic items as well so that it doesn't contribute to the math.

Magic Items:
As I stated in magic, take bonuses out of magic items. Make magic economy an optional system so that permanent magic items are wondrous and rare.

I would make minions at 1/3 hp of standard foes, standard foes at normal hp, and elite foes would have a bonus to hp.

Expand the support for this. Really need a VTT at least.

OGL so 3PP can get on board and generate additional support. Sure, 90% of all products is crap, but that's a truism in just about every industry, but there are a lot of gems out there.

I already said something about base class and specialization in 4e forum... but i repeat it here:

Multiclass are a combination of two base classes.

e.g.: warrior/mage

A normal class is a warrior(fighter)

warrior mages have simple access to magic and fighting abilities, but no fiddly things.
a specialized mage or fighter can do amazingthings.

You can use the base classes solely, if you want a low powered game.


First Post
What do I want?

Skills: I would like to see a total lack of skills, or a lack of 'active skills', sure the grapple checks of 3.5 were annoying, but I feel sneaking is just as much a skill as wrestling, a stealth like check would make morse sense to me. A list of passive skills would be your 'perception' skills. Listen Spot Search all would be seperate but linked. Knowledge skills would also be passive, nothing makes me more mad than when I have to use my character's action that round to make a knowledge X check to know anything about this monster, if my wizard knows about a Vrock, it doesn't take 6 seconds to know. I think things like open lock/disable device should also be something similar to Bullrush, a check that is based on more than just skill points. I want my Balance and Tumble skills seperate, although a synergy would work, coming from a martial artist, I have decent balance but when it comes to rolling around my large body gets in the way. Skills should be split between "What the character knows" and "What the character can see", while these aren't technically 'skills', I'm saying this to cover my opinion, the actual things we are skilled at should not be 'trained' by simply putting in points, but trained through reward (If you play Skyrim, their skill system is like this, although it would be easier to keep track of)

Magic: Spells per day, Vancian, Arcane/Divine split, no powers.

Powers: maybe a few, but not pages and pages

Feats: I feel feats are one aspect power gamers exploit, While Pathfinder gave us more feats, I feel fewer feats would make the characters more interesting, although more 'starting feats' would be okay, and the feats should have requirements beyond "this level, this BAB, this feat". The player should have his character have to go out and train the feat during play, although some things like "power attack" are a given, something like cleave should be learned in combat (how else would you learn to cleave? Fightng brooms? ha!)

Histories: I covered this a bit in the feats section, but having histories from the character would be fun, think a 0-level character, a commoner, the NPC in teh village, a character who's the Fighter MIGHT have a history of violence, or a history of glory, these would give him some bonuses (History of Violence would give him a bonus against fear while the history of glory would give him a bonus to diplomacy type skills). They wouldnt just be things that the character did, but what they use to do, so you could choose that your wizard use to be an alchemist before he started adventuring (bonus to alchemy based checks). Another word for these would be "Professions". Professions and Pasts, because the character isn't born in the tavern!

Monsters: Small stat blocks, easily adjusted, I'd also like to see XP based on the challenge (as determined by the DM, not CRs or preset XP, but thats just me, and it's easily adjusted)

Magic Items: I want flaming to do an extra d6 again, it made me happy doing more damage, I liked bane and holy/unholy and keen. Vorpal made me happy.

Levels: 1-20, even less if need be (1-15 or even 1-10)

Classes: the core 4, fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard. I would like to see certain paths to making the fighter into a barbarian or a paladin, the rogue into more of a thief or an assassin, the cleric into a druid or into an orcale type (more spells, less fighting) while the wizard could specialize in schools, go the path of a warlock (selling his soul for power) or learn as a sorcerer (you would choose at 1st level whether you prepare or cast spontaneously)

But what I really want, I want a game that is more up to the DM/Playing group, less rules as odd as it sounds. I'd like the basics covered (how to attack, certain spells, hit points, gear) but I don't want set in stone rules that ruin the game (this takes out rule lawyers by the way)

I would have to say, less is more. Less options is more fun, less rules is more fun. I also would like to see the character classes have different abilities, as in the fighter doesnt get powers, he gets to fight, the wizard doesnt get powers, he gets spells, so on and so on.

I actually would like to see the endless lists of powers taken out, a handful are okay (like 1 every 4 levels?) but more than 10 and it gets out of hand.

Above everything I said, even above the "what I really want" is a game that feels like a table-top game.

I'd also like less grid based rules, playing without miniatures should be an option. Actually, miniatures should be an option.

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