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5E How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules

Zardnaar

Explorer
For whatever reason there seems to be an idea that you can't clone 4E using the existing OGL rules. You can use the 5E engine (or 3E even) to clone any edition of D&D you like. You won't have something 100% but you can probably get it to 90% and you can probably remove the treadmill effect of 4E or use a blend of that and the 5E system to pull it off. For example your proficiency bonus could be 5E's or the 4E half level thing which would top out at +10 by level 20.

You would also have to translate the 4E round structure into a 5E equivalent, and probably go with 3 HD at level 1. Obviously you would have to rewrite the monsters into a more 5E format but you could use 4E abilities on it. Same thing if you wanted to do AD&D 3E, you could bring back old school energy drain etc and rewrite the classes, monsters etc.

One big difference is if you can convert 5E action into a move or bonus action a'la 4E. Its a bad idea in 5E but if you rewrote all the bonus action stuff in 5E into 4E equivalents it could work.

5E also have things like At will and daily abilities and pseudo encounter abilities with the short rest mechanic. Xanathars has actual encounter abilities in it under a different name. The Warlock also has a very 4E feel to it at least in terms of a template. It would not be hard to turn its invocations and spells into 4E powers or even stick with 5Es approach. You could also use it as a template to rewrite into other classes. After that you just need to plug in whatever it is from 4E that you miss, micro feats its weapon system etc.

The same applies for making your own system or cloning 3.X or B/X or AD&D although you might want to stretch the numbers a bit (half level to proficiency). Then you can just plug in 3E or OSR weapons. Using 5E fxes the number problems 3E and 4E has, if you like that aspect of them though you can still use them but in 4E case you might want to change them a bit due to GSL. Things like xp tables can be tweaked- Pathfinder offers 3 xp tables (fast, medium slow), or you can add a number such as 1001, 2001, 4001, 8001 on the xp tables.

Obviously some work required, my experiment is slowly plodding along. Often its just easier to houserule than make your own.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Is the point of this to be able to publish an adventure or expansion under the OGL?

Do you feel there is sufficient demand for this to make it a profitable endeavor?
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
For whatever reason there seems to be an idea that you can't clone 4E using the existing OGL rules.
It's not an idea, it's the GSL. You can't clone 4e, it's not open source. It's not a limitation of the 5e (or other d20) mechanics - you can work from any open source engine, and replace most of the parts, if you want - it's a limitation of the license.

You could create a 4e-ish game using a d20 OGL (any of 'em really), like 13A did, heck, you could take the Pelgrane Press Archmage Engine and build from something half-way between regular d20 and 4e to get closer more easily ...
but it won't be to 4e what PF was to 3.5, an actual clone, all but reprinting the original.


What you can do (and WotC should have done by now), and what is much more practical, is to add the missing elements - like the Warlord! (you knew it was coming) - to 5e.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
It's not an idea, it's the GSL. You can't clone 4e, it's not open source. It's not a limitation of the 5e (or other d20) mechanics - you can work from any open source engine, and replace most of the parts, if you want - it's a limitation of the license.

You could create a 4e-ish game using a d20 OGL (any of 'em really), like 13A did, heck, you could take the Pelgrane Press Archmage Engine and build from something half-way between regular d20 and 4e to get closer more easily ...
but it won't be to 4e what PF was to 3.5, an actual clone, all but reprinting the original.


What you can do (and WotC should have done by now), and what is much more practical, is to add the missing elements - like the Warlord! (you knew it was coming) - to 5e.
Just hire a Warlord to shout at the GSL license and heal it into the OGL.

That's a thing, right?
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I think I agree. It is easier to port 4e ideas into the 5e framework than to revise and update 4e. Mainly because there are a few optional rules inspired by 4e in the 5e DMG (eg marking) and core 5e ideas like hit dice and the inspiration die could be tweaked more closely to healing surges/second wind and action point mechanics of 4e. on the other side of the table you would need to up the ante with giving monsters some 4e like out of turn attacks, actions points etc to balance out the increased capacities of PCs.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
Just hire a Warlord to shout at the GSL license and heal it into the OGL.
Heal? or True Polymorph?

That's a thing, right?
Yeah, a thing called a Lawyer. That kinda shout'n can True Polymorph all sorts of legal entities...

...but...

Do you feel there is sufficient demand for this to make it a profitable endeavor?
...certainly not after those legal bills.
 
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ccs

39th lv DM
Why would you want to do this? The point of 5e is that it's not 4e.

But hey, if this project keeps you busy enough so you don't rant about Star Wars, go for it. :)
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
Why would you want to do this? The point of 5e is that it's not 4e.

But hey, if this project keeps you busy enough so you don't rant about Star Wars, go for it. :)
I like theory crafting, I'm not doing the work my pet us more advanced b/x using 5E rules and microfeats.
 
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Aldarc

Explorer
Why would you want to do this? The point of 5e is that it's not 4e.
His intent was clear. 4e has a more restricted license for developing potential content whereas 5e does not. So if one wants to expand content for something more 4e like (or an evolution thereof), then 5e would potentially serve as a better chassis due to its less restricted license. So how would one do that. If you wouldn't, then that's fine.
[MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION], I would also look at the d20 3.X license as well, especially given how 13th Age was developed.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
An area that I think is worth exploring is 5e players against 4e monster design. I still consider that the best part of 4e, and would love to see the 4e monsters get some 5e stats but keeping with a lot of the 4e abilities they had. Though....I would stick with the 5e names, some of those 4e descriptions were a bit hokey:)
 

Aldarc

Explorer
Yeah using 3E license would be the idea if you want to publish. Doesn't mean you have to use 3E though.
A lot of the pieces are there in 5e. It would probably be easier to use 4E Essentials as the basis since there is more overlap there.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Converting the spell casters into Encounter/Daily wouldn't be too hard. I'd vote to "start" the game at 3rd level, and offer levels 1 and 2 as apprentice levels. When you first get a spell level, it is a daily spell, and then you alternate converting them to encounters so you end with 1st as at-will, 2-5 as encounter, and 6-9 as daily. Utilities are kind of replaced by class abilities in 5E, but you could go either way.
 

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