D&D 5E How Far Could D&D Change--And STILL Be D&D?

I find that interesting because mechanics matter A LOT for me re: feel of a game.

For example, I just can't get into GURPS. I've tried (I"ve DM'd, friends have DMd, have tried it at a few conventions) - and I honestly think it's the D6s rolling 3d6 all the time just feels off. If D&D moved in that direction, it would be pretty tough for me to move with it!

Or when Deadlands released a D20 version. Group tried it, and wow was the feel completely off compared to the "regular" one. Even WITH all of the terminology etc. being the same.
I agree 100% that it feel different.... I just think D&D 2e compared to 3e plays and feels different. 2e or 3e to 5e feels different, but 5e is closer to 3e then 4e is to either... if basic, 1e, 2e, 3e,4e,and 5e are all D&D the feel is very mailable.

D&D is a bacon double cheese burger. A 5 guys bacon double cheese burger is very different then a TGI Fridays bacon double cheese burger and both are a far cry away from burger Kings Bacon double cheeseburger... but I can recognize they are the same thing even if they present with some major differences.

I can't understand how someone that went through even 1 edition change would think (unless it was only 1e to 2e) that D&D was a burger king bacon cheese burger and not a 5 guys one..

now I am hungry
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mort

Legend
Supporter
that really sounds like 2e to me... the party fights through hoards of rooms and minions, walks into the BBEG and he cast disintegrate or slay lvng or finger of death and the thief dies and can't draw up a replacement fast enough and even if he could DM couldn't reintroduce hm tonight

or with my hands and ability with jenga more like First trap of the night my thief rolls 00 on % dice to disarm triggers the poison trap and dies...

I played 2e for many years, SoD existed but was fairly rare (in our groups, ymmv), TPKs happened but were even more rare. I couldn't imagine a 2e game where the NORM was for every character to die by the end of the session. I just can't see that as being sustainable as a campaign!
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I agree 100% that it feel different.... I just think D&D 2e compared to 3e plays and feels different. 2e or 3e to 5e feels different, but 5e is closer to 3e then 4e is to either... if basic, 1e, 2e, 3e,4e,and 5e are all D&D the feel is very mailable.

D&D is a bacon double cheese burger. A 5 guys bacon double cheese burger is very different then a TGI Fridays bacon double cheese burger and both are a far cry away from burger Kings Bacon double cheeseburger... but I can recognize they are the same thing even if they present with some major differences.

I can't understand how someone that went through even 1 edition change would think (unless it was only 1e to 2e) that D&D was a burger king bacon cheese burger and not a 5 guys one..

now I am hungry

Ah, but substitute turkey bacon - is it still a bacon cheeseburger?

Put in an impossible burger and tofu "cheese" - still a bacon cheeseburger?

Not all mechanics fit all games, and some can actually harm the experience. Much as we'd like to think more = better, it's not always true.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Ah, but substitute turkey bacon - is it still a bacon cheeseburger?

Put in an impossible burger and tofu "cheese" - still a bacon cheeseburger?

Not all mechanics fit all games, and some can actually harm the experience. Much as we'd like to think more = better, it's not always true.
And that better be two (2) strips of crispy bacon placed in parallel to one another. So help me if I see three strips or one of those bacon rounds or if it is possible for, on an infinite plane for the lines formed by the bacon to intersect, I will slap that non-bacon cheeseburger out of people's mouths and fall to the floor, shouting until the police ask me to leave!
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
And that better be two (2) strips of crispy bacon placed in parallel to one another. So help me if I see three strips or one of those bacon rounds or if it is possible for, on an infinite plane for the lines formed by the bacon to intersect, I will slap that non-bacon cheeseburger out of people's mouths and fall to the floor, shouting until the police ask me to leave!
I can't stop laughing at this analogy. It's pure perfection.
Stick Around Bob Ross GIF by Originals
 


Ah, but substitute turkey bacon - is it still a bacon cheeseburger?

Put in an impossible burger and tofu "cheese" - still a bacon cheeseburger?

Not all mechanics fit all games, and some can actually harm the experience. Much as we'd like to think more = better, it's not always true.
when my aunt tried to replace hamburg in meatballs with turkey and I was trying to be nice... I was 7 or 8 and when she told me I said "Thank god, I thought you made the worst meatballs ever" it has been a joke in my family for 35 years... BUT that impossible burger is supposed to be indistinguishable.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
How much could you change D&D (5E as the current version) and still feel like it is D&D?

So, I don't think this works by considering the "amount" of change, or some "size" of change, if only because there's no measure of change. Nobody can answer, "Well, if they change it 14 units, it is still D&D, but if they change it 27 units, definitely not."

It comes down, instead, not to "how much" but "What things I hold dear can they change before I no longer also hold the resulting game dearly?"

Basically, it is making a list of personal "sacred cows". Not that I like that phrase, but it is the one folks will understand easily.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
just suggest artificer be in the 2024 PHB and people will melt down... throw in warforged and you may get some real fireworks.
They added the Artificer in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and nobody blew a fuse at my table.

It helps that the Artificer had already been released in the Eberron campaign setting, and we were running Eberron at the time. But I liked the change. Before Tasha's the Artificer felt like it was purely "an Eberron thing." Now that the Artificer class is in a setting-neutral sourcebook, they feel more universal and accessible. (That, and players won't be tempted to assume that if Artificers are allowed in a setting, dragonmarks and warforged and everything else specific to Eberron will also be allowed.)

The warforged are another matter. Even after playing 2+ years of Eberron, the concept of a magical, sentient, playable robot race in D&D feels weird and out-of-place. I don't think they will ever feel "universal and accessible" to me.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
The warforged are another matter. Even after playing 2+ years of Eberron, the concept of magic robots in D&D feels weird and out-of-place. I don't think they will ever feel "universal and accessible" to me.
I never got this.

We've had golems and shield guardians and collossi and sword gaunts, and modrons and the apparatus of kwalish (which in 5e is explicitly a giant mecha) and the thing those gnomes built in that one adventure for forever and people don't complain about them, but suddenly when people get to play one, now magic robots aren't D&D?

It's been magic robots the whole time!

Oh, and clockwork horrors and Primus.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I never got this.

We've had golems and shield guardians and collossi and sword gaunts, and modrons and the apparatus of kwalish (which in 5e is explicitly a giant mecha) and the thing those gnomes built in that one adventure for forever and people don't complain about them, but suddenly when people get to play one, now magic robots aren't D&D?

It's been magic robots the whole time!

Oh, and clockwork horrors and Primus.
Yeah, I know. This is very much a "CleverNickName Problem," not a "D&D Problem." I've made my peace with never ever having any magic sentient robots of any kind, anywhere in my D&D game, and I'm much happier.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I never got this.

We've had golems and shield guardians and collossi and sword gaunts, and modrons and the apparatus of kwalish (which in 5e is explicitly a giant mecha) and the thing those gnomes built in that one adventure for forever and people don't complain about them, but suddenly when people get to play one, now magic robots aren't D&D?

It's been magic robots the whole time!

Oh, and clockwork horrors and Primus.

I ported warforged into my Greyhawk campaign (admittedly, initially as soul vessels for the BBEG and his army of minions) and the players loved it. They like Eberron though, so maybe not the best sample.
 


Warforged and Artificer being added? Or Warforged and Artificer replacing things?
For the vast majority of people upset over it, there is no difference. Both produce equal amounts of outrage. The latter will of course offend fans of whatever didn't get put in as a consequence, but unless it's something extremely popular (we're talking dragonborn or tiefling here, not gnome or half-orc), the number of people put out by a replacement is going to be vanishingly small compared to the number of people put out by their inclusion to any degree.

As a fan of dragonborn, I can attest that this exact thing is what happened with them. You had TONS of people openly campaigning for dragonborn being excluded from the PHB during the D&D Next playtest. Now, a decade on, I will admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude that dragonborn are among the most popular non-humans in D&D.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Back in 4e, when we were playing Living Forgotten Realms, a friend of mine was annoyed at the idea that you could play any race from any of the settings published in Faerun.

"What," he asked, "are Warforged doing in the Forgotten Realms? It makes no sense."

To which I responded with the following.

"So you recall that there was this Spellplague, that caused mutations and magical chaos throughout the land? For many years, outside a temple of Sune Firehair, the beloved goddess of beauty, there was a statue. It had been carved by a master artisan, who had once caught the merest glimpse of Sune herself. He made it from the highest quality stone, but over time, small cracks had begun to appear in it. It stood alone in it's courtyard, a place often visited by young lovers and Sune's faithful. Then the Spellplague happened, and temple was abandoned for many years.

A few months ago, a group of adventurers came upon the old temple, and as they explored, they came upon the statue. A beautiful nude visage of the goddess herself, seven feet tall, with tiny cracks marring her marble flesh. And the cracks were glowing with blue-white fire, as if it was barely containing some unimaginable energy.

As one of the explorers moved close to examine the statue, it turned it's head to regard him. It's lips moved, and a beautiful female voice could be heard. "Well met! I'd tell you my name, but I don't seem to have one. Perhaps you could help me?"

"This creature, you see, uses the same rules as a Warforged, but is a statue of a goddess animated by raw magical energy."

And my friend agreed, he suddenly had no problem with this character idea.
 


All the variant rules in the DMG fall into the still dnd.
The resting in the OP is close to the rest variant Epic heroism. So it is still DnD!
If you pick up all the variant and the hint give in the DMG you get a wide range of modifications and still be still dnd.
 


toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
what if I added two more ability scores would the game be truly different?
I think so. @Umbran 's suggestion that we're really asking about "sacred cows" is on point.

You can tweak how the rules work, but since the beginning, a character sheet for D&D has THE 6 ability scores, your race & class, AC, hit points, and saving throws. No matter how the rules have been tweaked since (e.g THAC0 vs. d20 plus), it's always come down to a core appearance that hasn't changed.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top