5E I am thinking of eliminating reactions.

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Reactions/AoO’s and readied actions all seem to contribute to interrupting the flow of a round. This interruption is creating confusion about who’s turn is next. This sometimes means people miss a turn even when paying attention. I haven’t liked AoO’s since third edition because they are cumbersome and insipid. I feel like countering spells is a worthwhile endeavor. How would you handle countering?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Just say that a spellcaster can only counter one spell in a round. Whether or not you want to call that "extra" action a Reaction or not is up to you.

Personally... I'd rather figure out why people can't seem to remember whose turn it was when someone used a Reaction, rather than try and re-jigger all the rules to take Reactions out of the game. It'd be much easier to fix one single thing that really shouldn't be all that difficult in the first place-- versus re-working to eliminate an entire game system that dozens of features and abilities are built to use.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Huh. I've never seen this problem.

How do you track turn order? We use the old "cards hanging over the DM's screen" method and it seems to work just fine. Sure, sometimes we mess things up, but I don't think it's because of reactions. Usually players are so eager for their turn that if the DM makes a mistake they're all over it.

I suspect electronic devices at the table are a bigger cause of initiative-order mistakes.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Interesting. We haven't had any issues with confusion about readied actions or other stuff. Can you offer an example? What is going on that people would miss their turn?

I wouldn't get rid of these things unless you find no alternative, as it would require a lot of tweaking.

Many features use your reaction, besides Counterspell and Shield, others such as Uncanny Dodge, Skirmisher, and Arcane Deflection (five reactions my current character has!).

Removing OA would hurt classes and feats which incorporate OA as a key feature.

Removing Ready would prevent and complicate situations where one creature is prepared to act depending on another's.

What is making Countering hard? You spend a 3rd or higher level slot to prevent an enemy caster from completing their spell. Is it the time for the extra die roll and figuring out what DC is needed? In that case maybe Countering could instead impost a penalty against the incoming spell, perhaps making it miss, or offering a bonus to the saving throw for the target(s)?
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
They are all literal interruptions. I am not afraid of dumping a rule I think is trash even if it means more work. Everyone gets a turn sounds fair doesn’t it. Counter spell isn’t problematic I consider it good which is why I wanted to keep it.
 

Jer

Adventurer
A lot of folks are trying to argue against your premise, but I'll go the other way.

I feel like countering spells is a worthwhile endeavor. How would you handle countering?
My answer is to argue against THIS premise instead and say "I wouldn't". If you're going to remove the ability of martial characters to act outside of their turn then you should bite the bullet and do it for everyone and just eliminate counterspell as well. Removing counterspell puts the wizards on equal footing with everyone else if you drop everyone's reactions, and that's a good thing, so just lose it.

ETA: But if you want to keep counterspells in and lose reactions for everyone else, then just say "spellcasters are more awesome than everyone else and so they get to cast counterspells outside of their turn". Spellcasting is already it's own thing separate from making melee/ranged attacks with weapons, so you don't need much justification to do it. (This is all assuming you have buy-in from your players of course.)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
They are all literal interruptions. I am not afraid of dumping a rule I think is trash even if it means more work. Everyone gets a turn sounds fair doesn’t it. Counter spell isn’t problematic I consider it good which is why I wanted to keep it.
Yes, that is the point of reactions, as interruptions. But even with them, everyone still gets a turn you know. It isn't like my reaction is preventing another's turn in initiative.

So, how would you handle spells like Shield? All the other reactions my character has? Uncanny Dodge, Arcane Deflection, and Skirmisker? How would you rewrite those?

While I can mostly understand the issues with Ready, and other threads have discussed how it can cause confusion, I don't see how other reaction features are causing such an issue, especially if you are in favor of keeping Countering.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Reactions/AoO’s and readied actions all seem to contribute to interrupting the flow of a round. This interruption is creating confusion about who’s turn is next. This sometimes means people miss a turn even when paying attention. I haven’t liked AoO’s since third edition because they are cumbersome and insipid. I feel like countering spells is a worthwhile endeavor. How would you handle countering?
If you understand how to track initiative better I think it will solve your issues. If you find tracking initiative difficult use a physical aid.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
Yeah. Removing reaction has a cascading effect on a lot of class/monster abilities.

Don’t bother taking protection style as a fighter.
No uncanny dodge for the rogue, enjoy that damage.
Removes some key spells for the magic types...

To remove reactions entirely would take a lot moar work to me than its worth.

BUT, if they’re really that much of an issue you can do 1 of 2 things.

1:remove them and see how it works(it’ll probably work fine)
2: figure out why they are an issue at your table and resolve that.

Most importantly: are reactions a problem for your players or just for you? If it’s the players.. remove reactions. If it’s you... maybe your players wouldn’t appreciate such a nerf to their characters.
 

Jer

Adventurer
So, how would you handle spells like Shield? All the other reactions my character has? Uncanny Dodge, Arcane Deflection, and Skirmisker? How would you rewrite those?
Depending on the table, this may be less of a problem than you might think. It's all a question of the choices that the players have made - if players haven't taken the classes that have these kind of abilities, or if they have but never use them because they just don't think about them, then eliminating them from the game is easy because they already aren't there. You don't have to necessarily rewrite the entire set of rules to get rid of the reactions that the players aren't using - just the ones that they are.

(This is why the most important piece for rule changes like this is player buy-in. If your players are happy with eliminating reactions on both sides of the table, then there's no issue. If you as DM want to get rid of them but your players use those abilities, you're nerfing their characters and they won't appreciate it. If your players don't care then you barely even need to house rule it - just say "we're getting rid of AoOs on both sides of the table" and you're done.)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Depending on the table, this may be less of a problem than you might think. It's all a question of the choices that the players have made - if players haven't taken the classes that have these kind of abilities, or if they have but never use them because they just don't think about them, then eliminating them from the game is easy because they already aren't there. You don't have to necessarily rewrite the entire set of rules to get rid of the reactions that the players aren't using - just the ones that they are.

(This is why the most important piece for rule changes like this is player buy-in. If your players are happy with eliminating reactions on both sides of the table, then there's no issue. If you as DM want to get rid of them but your players use those abilities, you're nerfing their characters and they won't appreciate it. If your players don't care then you barely even need to house rule it - just say "we're getting rid of AoOs on both sides of the table" and you're done.)
Well, that is my point. These are features I use and have bought into them. If I was a new player at this table, I would want to know how these features are handled if not as reactions. We've had players leave our table because they didn't like some house-rules we use. We're fine with that, and maybe depending on how the OP handles their table I might decide it isn't for me, either.

I think players at the OP's table having taken something otherwise they wouldn't be in use and causing confusion. I suppose it is possible it is the opponents using them, but then you are removing power from foes and making them weaker.

But I agree with most of the posts here. The real question is why are reactions causing confusion at their table? What is it about them that makes it a problem? Is it just that it interrupts the pace of the round?

Until the OP is more specific, and addresses the points myself and others have made, I can't really help. If he is posting here just looking for support, he is unlikely to find it without more information. That being said, it is their table, if they don't like OA/reactions/Ready, and everyone playing is okay with taking them out on both sides, they can go for it.

I've also asked about Countering. Why is it a problem as is? What is he looking to change? If the OP answers those questions, I might be able to offer a suggestion on how to improve it (I've already offered one as a shot-in-the-dark, to no response).
 

Mistwell

Hero
Reactions/AoO’s and readied actions all seem to contribute to interrupting the flow of a round. This interruption is creating confusion about who’s turn is next. This sometimes means people miss a turn even when paying attention. I haven’t liked AoO’s since third edition because they are cumbersome and insipid. I feel like countering spells is a worthwhile endeavor. How would you handle countering?
I would say when a foe casts a spell, ask the spellcaster player that has the Counterspell spell prepared if he wants to counter it or not, and then have the NPC roll all dice necessary for that counterspell attempt if they player said yes, and proceed with the round. Don't ever hand a reaction turn to the PC, aside from that brief yes or no question. So while technically they have a reaction round, realistically there is no interruption fo the action (or at least less of one).
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
When I say I want to keep counterspell I have been misunderstood. I want to keep the ability to prevent a spell. I do not want it to be a reaction. I want it to be an action. As for the other abilities like uncanny dodge I would be looking for suitable replacements sans interruption.

Tracking initiative is a problem. I have tried many different methods. Some work better than others. I still feel that this mechanic exacerbates the problem without actually adding something of value. Instead it adds dice rolls and extra decision points. These tend to most penalize players without system mastery by increasing delay between turns.

Some things are non issues. Like legendary resistance (or even shield) It doesn't require a new roll or a target at best it just changes the outcome of one dice-roll that has already been made.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
I think if you remove reactions, you should add some other actions that cover some of the same places that reactions live in. I think you want to avoid off-turn attacks but I'd suggest adding an alternative so that a melee focused character be able to do stuff. For instance, if they want to be sticky, maybe an "engaging attack" where the fighter still makes an attack but the enemy attacked can't move away.

Removing off-turn attacks also changes expected DPR for some characters and that might need to be considered.

As far as the counterspell, just let them do it once per round. Likewise for stuff like lore bard's cutting words, limit to once a round. Where this is a problem is characters that have multiple triggers that work as reactions. Should a wizard that used counterspell also be allowed to cast shield in the same turn? What if that same character also multiclassed into bard and decides to use cutting words on a charisma check made by an enemy who's counterspelling the player's own counterspell?

If you really just don't like attacks of opportunity and readied actions, just toss those. The limitation of 1/round reaction across several features is useful. I'd still suggest adding something to replace what you take away, though.

If you really want to get rid of reactions, I think you'd have to remove some features, maybe rewrite classes a bit. Seems like more work than it's worth.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
When I say I want to keep counterspell I have been misunderstood. I want to keep the ability to prevent a spell. I do not want it to be a reaction. I want it to be an action. As for the other abilities like uncanny dodge I would be looking for suitable replacements sans interruption.
This will reduce the power of spellcasters. If that was your intention.

Tracking initiative is a problem. I have tried many different methods. Some work better than others. I still feel that this mechanic exacerbates the problem without actually adding something of value. Instead it adds dice rolls and extra decision points. These tend to most penalize players without system mastery by increasing delay between turns.
I have found the best tracking method for initiative for myself is a magnetized whiteboard. I order the whiteboard by Init and name. I move the magnet downwards as each player and NPC and monster have their turns.

You could try that. You could try paper slips ordered by number across your DM screen.

You could get an Initiative tracker app. There are all sorts of strategies.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
When I say I want to keep counterspell I have been misunderstood. I want to keep the ability to prevent a spell. I do not want it to be a reaction. I want it to be an action.
This is a house rule for older editions but worded differently it could work for you. The problem is that in the edition this rule was written for, characters announced what they were doing at the start of the round and then those things would happen in specific segments of time. If you altered the way your rounds work, it could maybe work. Blast from the Past: Counterspelling in AD&D! There's some other similar house rules out there.
 

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