D&D General How would YOU do "classless D&D"?


He Mage
It is solidly doable (but not easy) to accurately measure the worth in points for features that exist in the lowest tier, levels 1 to 4.

However, higher tiers start to disconnect, making features more ambiguous, and more arbitrary to quantify. For example, save-or-suck effects relativize the worth of a hit point.

In practice, the higher tiers rely on certain features, like Fireball or Wish, that are agreed on as benchmarks to compare other features alongside it.

As a consequence, in order to feel like D&D, a classless system must have levels, and gate powerful features with prereqs that require a high level or tier.
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He Mage
In the near future, I expect Artificial Intelligence to comb thru all of the possible features in D&D to assign a comprehensive value to each feature. It will even anticipate unexpectedly powerful combos, and assign a penalty cost for certain combos.

I assume we still need humans to massage the AI results. But such a systematic scrutiny will be enormously useful for the gaming industry.


If you're interested, here is the link to my version (WIP):

Most of the class features are done already, and next is all the subclass features.
Looking good, please share when your finished. I've wanted to do something like this for a long time, but never wanted to invest the time.

FYI, some pages are being cropped off in the PDF. See the right side below. It starts on this page, and the next 3 pages, then goes back to normal.



One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I think I’d go with a ‘feat-buy system’ but I wouldn’t have it completely you can combine anything from anywhere style, there would be some focus: separate all existing class abilities into their thematic groupings, martial, skilled, divine, arcane, nature, charisma, each group contains all the abilities vaguely in that area so martial would have both fighter second wind as well as barbarian rage and monk ki, nature has ranger favoured terrain and druid wildshape and plant/beast based spells, furthermore these abilities are divided up by tier, you need to of purchased a certain number of level 1 abilities before you can start picking level 2s and so many 2s before 3s and so on, there would be some prerequisite feats for others but mostly in the case of abilities that can additionally scale up (you need extra attack 1 before you’re able to buy EA2, or tier 0-3 magic before tier 4-6)

You get a number of abilities to pick per level/character creation to pick from a category to build their capabilities but some things are fundamental to a category to begin with but often have even better version to purchase(d10 hit die is standard for martial category but you can spend an ability point to make it a d12, you automatically start as a half caster in arcane, divine, nature and charisma but can upgrade to full caster with a point), picking from two categories is standard but specialising in only one lets you access higher level abilities sooner requiring you to buy less prerequisite lower tier abilities, branching into more than two categories gives you more versatility but you have to spread your points out more so you reach higher level abilities later

Edit: you could purchase abilities outside your specialties without fully investing in another category but they come at the cost of two ability points instead of one
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Aspects. Like Half Arcanist, Full Priest, Warrior, Knight, Cultist, Underworlder, Overworlder, etc.

Each PC gets like 5 aspects. Each aspect is rated 1-3 points. As you level your aspects get stronger sorta like upgraded feats.


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
The problem I have with feat buy systems is how poorly they have been implemented. Dont get me wrong I love the innovation of feats, but their inconsistent application has been an issue since 3E. PF2 the feat buffet is certainly showing the problem. Boring, but useful, things take precedent over cool but rare things. I thought creating feat buckets (class, race, skill) would really help, but each category just got borked on its own making sure the options are barely options at all.

If you could crack that nut in a classless system, then feats might work well.

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