D&D 5E How Modules and Options should work in Next

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
I am looking forward to the implementation of Next's laudable goals of modules, options, and making it customizable. But with expertise die, at-wills and recharge spells for the wizard, and more, it seems like the designers are trying to satisfy everyone within the mechanics in each class. Not only can you not please everyone, but you risk losing focus.

At the same time, these alternative mechanics for modules must be able to work with core rules, and easily layered.

I think all the base classes need to be made simpler, with only one or two "defining" mechanics. Rogues have more skills and sneak attack. Fighters have proficiencies and expertise die. Wizards have just Vancian spellcasting. Variant options should layer on top and replace.

For example, wizards.

Base wizard: all daily spells memorized from spellbook with predefined spells and spell levels.

The "encounter recharge" option should be layered on top of the vancian wizard and simply replace some of those spell slots. Something like "lose two daily spell slots" to gain a recharge slot of the same level.". Or "lose one one daily spell slot of each spell level to gain a 1st-level spell to use at-will."

Or for the rogue:

All the base rogue might have is sneak attack. But you can layer on options that "switch out" the sneak attack progression. Instead of +1d6 every level, you learn Condition-effects for successful hits.

The idea is, instead of trying to build every option into the class, make the class simple with one defining mechanic: and allow it to be switched out with options.
 

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slobo777

First Post
There are far more opinions about what modules are, and how they could be used to provide game play styles, than WotC could possibly implement.

I don't expect class resource systems to come under the touted modularity. Instead I expect that players and DMs who dislike what they see in a specific class will need to deal with it themselves, either simply by excluding the class, or by tweaking it to play how they like.

Also, any choices that are made for how a class plays are likely to be written into the class with the assumption that it is a player choice, not a DM or group one. I.e. The Wizard class may have access to At-Will, Encounter and Daily spell uses. The rules will assume that the player chooses which to put into their character - possibly even dynamically during an adventure. The rules will not present modules for DMs or groups unhappy with this open choice. DMs who dislike Encounter powers will of course be free to exclude them at the table, but I really don't see that this will part of any published "play style" module.
 

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
I.e. The Wizard class may have access to At-Will, Encounter and Daily spell uses. The rules will assume that the player chooses which to put into their character - possibly even dynamically during an adventure.

I think this is what I'm actually trying to get at. So many people expect different mechanics from the one class, and WotC seems to be trying to cram all those mechanics in.

I get both sides. The original goals of Next classes seemed to be: give each class a story hook and mechanical shtick. Players, on the other hand, have associated several different types of mechanics with a single thematic hook.

I think everyone would agree that a Wizard has low hit points, little to no armor or weapon proficiences, carries around a spellbook, and can cast universe-warping spells if she just spends enough time studying them. She is intelligent, bookish, and focused.

For some people, this means Vancian spellcasting, daily spells only. For others, this means the option of recharge mechanics. For still others, it's access to at-will spells. For some (though a distinct minority, I believe) it's even mana and spell points. Vancian vs. recharge vs. at-will all seem to be a significant percentage, and vocal.

I don't think everything needs to be "crammed" into the wizard. Dailies, with at-wills, with specialists that get recharging spells.... But I kind of like having each of these mechanics available to all wizards, with some kind of trade-off.

If the basic wizard could be entirely Vancian and only daily spells, and built into the class was the option to trade out daily spell slots for encounter slots, or daily slots for an at-will spell... I think this would satisfy a lot of people.

If the Wizard was completely Vancian - I think I would be happy with something like the following ability:

At-Will Spell
Permanently sacrifice two 1st-level daily spell slots. Choose one 1st-level spell you know. You may cast this chosen spell once per round. (You may only sacrifice 1st-level slots, and may only choose a 1st-level spell)

And then maybe:

Recharging Encounter Spell
Choose any spell you know. Permanently sacrifice one daily spell slot of the same level. You may cast this chose spell once per encounter, requiring 5min of a short rest to recharge.

Of course, the balance all depends on how many daily slots are available, what the progression is, what the power level of the spells are, and how they scale. But by sacrificing one mechanic to be replaced by another, I think, is able to satisfy most camps and what they expect out of a single class.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
At-Will Spell
Permanently sacrifice two 1st-level daily spell slots. Choose one 1st-level spell you know. You may cast this chosen spell once per round. (You may only sacrifice 1st-level slots, and may only choose a 1st-level spell)
This doesn't work. I can either cast burning hands 2 times per day, or sacrifice those spell slots to be able to cast burning hands infinite times per day? Tough choice.
 

Magil

First Post
This doesn't work. I can either cast burning hands 2 times per day, or sacrifice those spell slots to be able to cast burning hands infinite times per day? Tough choice.

While I agree with you in principle, that particular example isn't as good because you could cast two different spells instead of just burning hands. Maybe three would work. Though I think it should be a very limited approach if they did something like that, and only certain spells would qualify.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
While I agree with you in principle, that particular example isn't as good because you could cast two different spells instead of just burning hands. Maybe three would work. Though I think it should be a very limited approach if they did something like that, and only certain spells would qualify.
In theory, but it's the same thing as math feats--more burning hands is almost always more effective than a potential charm person.

It could work as a way to "cash in" lower spell levels when they aren't daily-quality anymore, but this would need to have a level restriction, and probably restrictions on a spell-by-spell basis.
 

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
This doesn't work. I can either cast burning hands 2 times per day, or sacrifice those spell slots to be able to cast burning hands infinite times per day? Tough choice.

Which is why I'm not a game designer and why I said it all depends on the actual mechanics. Maybe you sacrifice one slot from every spell level? I don't know, but some sort of trade.

And it might be a tough choice if there were only three daily spell slots to start with.

Somehow, I believe there's some type of equivalency test.
 

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
Perhaps, what if cantrips were also dailies, and there were a few limited attack spells among them?

A 1st-level wizard has 6 0-level daily slots, 3 1st-level daily slots.

Choose a 0-level spell, sacrifice two 1st-level spell slots. You can now cast magic missile at-will and deal 1d4+Int damage.

Again, spitballing, but what about the concept, baking at-will/recharge into the class, but with a completely vancian/daily frame?
 

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