D&D General How would you redo 4e?


Bounded accuracy and get rid of mandatory magic items(magic marts). I didnt like essentials because it erased the old style 4e instead of supplementing it.

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Red Castle

Bounded accuracy and get rid of mandatory magic items(magic marts). I didnt like essentials because it erased the old style 4e instead of supplementing it.
They included an optional rule in the DMG2 to get rid of magic item if you want to. Basically, characters got an additional bonus to attack and defense at miltiple levels to compensate. I personally use this rule in my campaigns.


I saw some people in this forum asking for 4e be released as a SRD to Creative Commons like 5e (and possibly 3.5e). Do not get me wrong, I liked 4e, but I think it was very combat oriented and did a bad service to other game pillars. And most powers were, quite frankly, more of the same. Even so, I think many of its flaws could be reworked, specially now we have many good ideas we could port from 5e backwards.

So, if you are not a 4e hater, how would you rework it? My personal takes would be:

  • Bounded Accuracy. I would remove the +half level to everything and the +3 bonus to skill proficiency would be remade in a proficiency bonus linked to level (as 5e)
  • More like Essentials. Different classes, different power progressions. Not really needed the same AEDU thing to everyone. Fighters would get lots of ways to change Basic Attacks rather than different powers, for example.
  • Spell Lists. Even if we keep spells as powers, no need a power list to every caster class. Wizards and warlocks, for example, could both take "spells from the arcane power list". Perhaps same idea to martials, like A5e maneuver schools.
  • Exploration and Social Powers. New powers to cover exploration and social pillars. In addition to other powers your class gives, not take in place of them.
  • Subclasses earlier. Not wait to level 11 to take a subclass/paragon path/whatever. Like 5e, around 3rd level is a good start.

Of course, lots of mine suggestion would need rework lots of the game moving parts, specially to keep math working both in combat and outside it. But the above would be my initial blueprint. Now, curious to know how you would redo it.
I'm actually working on a 4e-inspired system right now(it has other inspirations too), and I have some similar ideas.
  • Bounded accuracy is in, fairly similar to 5e although I've adjusted it a bit.
  • Classes and subclasses are separated in my system, classes are overall simpler and focused on "doing one thing that defines your role."
  • There are universal "power lists" and they are actually keyed off of ability scores, but the other big thing classes do is give you a boost to learning from specific power lists. So anyone can theoretically learn "arcane spells," but you won't learn the best or be good at them without being a wizard or similar class.
  • I am vastly expanding how skills work compared to 4e and 5e, taking a lot of inspiration from Pathfinder with specific skill actions. There will also be an entirely separate social system that allows players to mechanically influence the world, eventually gaining things like fortresses, political titles, masses of followers, etc.
  • As I said, subclasses are separated from classes in my system, I've kind of smashed the idea of subclasses and feats together.
  • The other major change from 4e is that powers do not run off of an AEDU system per se, instead each power has a "spirit" cost, so to a certain degree players will need to avoid blowing all their best powers immediately. However, this is mitigated to some degree by players having a spirit recovery mechanic similar to healing surges so you can't really use up your "true" max spirit in one encounter.
So yeah, it started very similar to 4e and it's becoming it's own thing the more I work on it.

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