Mechanics you DO want to see return

Sacrosanct

Legend
A spin off of the other thread about mechanics you don’t ever want to see again, but the opposite. This is about mechanics that went away in the current edition that you’d like to see return.
Disclaimer: this is personal preference folks. Let’s try to keep the “what!? You want that godawful rule back? What’s wrong with you!?” Responses to a minimum please. Accusing others of bad wrong fun never ends well.

For me, as an old school player, I’d like to see the following come back:

  • racial ability penalties. If you want an 18 str PC that is 3 feet tall and weighs as much as my toddler, that’s what magic items are for. Demihumans get other benefits that offset that
  • level drain. Make players afraid of undead again
  • save or die (or really, really suck). No one bothers with neutralize poison spells or scrolls anymore, and deadly poison as been the staple of adventure exploration stories for over 100 years.
  • spell interruption. Everyone complains about how casters are too OP. Well, if they take damage before they get their spell off, it should have a good chance of fizzling. Not just for concentration.
  • stronghold and follower rules
  • morale rules
  • how oozes and slimes and molds used to be
 
This is difficult for me... I am not particularly married to game mechanics, but I wouldn't mind to see something scary like level drain come back, as long as it's designed better than in the past however... typically the problem in past edition was that level drain mechanics are always too complicated and painful to track, while at the same time they are too easy to get rid of.

More generally however, I believe that 5e is better suited than any previous editions for handling ability drain or ability damage effects. That's because the typical action resolution mechanics of 5e is always d20 + ability modifier + proficiency bonus (unlike for example 3e where you typically get many other modifiers), and this is so simple that you don't really need to pre-calculate your bonuses for everything. I know that most players still do it because they're used to doing it for decades, but it is not necessary anymore in 5e to write down your total bonus for every single skill or saving throw, when the bonus is always just the ability modifier + proficiency! All you need to do is check if you are proficient or not.

I know you can play the game like that without pre-calculations because I've been doing it with my 7yo kids, using our own customized character sheets where there is no room for pre-calculating skill bonuses (Quickstart 5e character sheet (beginner friendly)). We still pre-calculate weapon attacks and AC because those are used all the time in combat, but not skills and saves.

With that in mind, it should be a piece of cake to handle ability damage, you just write down your temporary ability score and bonus next to the "normal" score, and use the temporary value on the fly when making a roll.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
In general, I don't see a lot of older mechanics I'd want to see return, but there are a few. All of them have downsides to incorporate into 5E, however.

  • Non-linear ability score modifier
    • I'd like to use the BECMI chart, but I also know that this would mess with the ASI benefit
  • Racial Penalties/Caps
    • Return human to +0 across the board, with maybe an extra skill
    • Non-humans get various benefits, but also penalties to balance them out
  • Gestalt Multi-classing
    • Current system puts a lot of character concepts at a disadvantage
    • I HATE the fact that a 1 level dip is the optimal form of multiclassing in many cases
 

Sadras

Adventurer
  • return to an older version of immunity/resistance for certain monsters (i.e. skeletons take half damage from piercing etc);
  • racial, age and gender-based racial caps/penalties (abilities between genders should be balanced);
  • use of the terms demihuman, baatezu and tanar'ri :);
  • spell interruption, spell failure;
  • stronghold/retainers/henchmen/follower rules;
  • morale system;
  • protection scrolls and rituals.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
A lot of things people have already said, but to reiterate and add a few:

Different proficiency/ progression for different things, no universal bonus
Proficiency bonuses more dependent on level, not ability scores
Racial penalties/limited below 18
Capped ability scores at 18
Non-linear ability score bonuses
More variable casting times
Casting/spell interruption
Non-dipping multiclassing
Saves at different progressions
Aging effects
Ability/level drain
Save or die rolls

And... I am sure there is more. ;)

EDIT: remove BA or at least expand it to a limit of 40 instead of 30. 30 leads to things being too tight and not enough variation.

In that light, also scaling/escalating AC not bloated HP.
 
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jasper

Rotten DM
Aging affects.
Level drain could be lose your proficiency and bonus till you gain a level.
No feats
Morale
stronghold/retainers/henchmen/follower rules;
save or die on a few spells effects.
EVERYONE WHO pLAYES d&d SenDS me $5.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
A spin off of the other thread about mechanics you don’t ever want to see again, but the opposite. This is about mechanics that went away in the current edition that you’d like to see return.
Disclaimer: this is personal preference folks. Let’s try to keep the “what!? You want that godawful rule back? What’s wrong with you!?” Responses to a minimum please. Accusing others of bad wrong fun never ends well.

For me, as an old school player, I’d like to see the following come back:

  • racial ability penalties. If you want an 18 str PC that is 3 feet tall and weighs as much as my toddler, that’s what magic items are for. Demihumans get other benefits that offset that
  • level drain. Make players afraid of undead again
  • save or die (or really, really suck). No one bothers with neutralize poison spells or scrolls anymore, and deadly poison as been the staple of adventure exploration stories for over 100 years.
  • spell interruption. Everyone complains about how casters are too OP. Well, if they take damage before they get their spell off, it should have a good chance of fizzling. Not just for concentration.
  • stronghold and follower rules
  • morale rules
  • how oozes and slimes and molds used to be
Morale and oozes/slimes make sense, and strongholds will probably reappear before 5E is done.

Everything else is gone for a reason and won't be back outside optional rules. Plus 5E does have racial penalties, they're just rarer. And the idea that a Halfling with 18 STR is dumb but 16 STR is fine is hilariously bananas.

That said, what I want most is almost as silly - 2E-style multiclassing.

It'd be a huge effort to get right, but 4E showed a way, and I think it could be done.

Also I think some of you guys really need to go play OSR games!
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Morale and oozes/slimes make sense, and strongholds will probably reappear before 5E is done.

Everything else is gone for a reason and won't be back outside optional rules. Plus 5E does have racial penalties, they're just rarer. And the idea that a Halfling with 18 STR is dumb but 16 STR is fine is hilariously bananas.

That said, what I want most is almost as silly - 2E-style multiclassing.

It'd be a huge effort to get right, but 4E showed a way, and I think it could be done.

Also I think some of you guys really need to go play OSR games!
Mechanics that are gone but not forgotten. LOL!

I don't know about OSR games themselves, but simply returning to a 1E/2E games is possible. ;)
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
I've used 4e style skill challenges to good effect in my 5e games before. I think it would be a nice thing to add back into the DMG as long as they give it a better explanation for how to run them. I think the key to keep them exciting is to keep changing the situation. Add in factors that the PCs must react to in order to succeed. Otherwise after a few rolls the party just stands there going "uhhhhhhh can I roll Athletics again now?"

I'd also like to see bardic music brought back and give them some oomph. Make the bard the king of buffs and debuffs.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Mine are pretty simple.

1. I want a fighter who has a proficiency (proficiency bonus) in weapons increase FASTER and GREATER than any other class (you could toss in other martials with this such as the Barbarian, Ranger, and Paladin, but it is essential for the fighter) without having to toss a die (I mean, theoretically, the Battlemaster already does this with their precision attack, and the Samurai already kind of has this with their ability) or some other item. It's simply baked into the class itself, or at least an archtype.

Traditionally Fighters increased with their attacks with the ability in hitting and weapons faster than any other class without having to have wazoo ability scores in those attack modifiers., bring it back.

2. Saving throws that automatically make it easier to pass saving throws all around the board for all classes. As they go up levels, saving throws are a lot easier to make regardless of what type of save it is.

Wouldn't mind Gestalt type multiclassing, but it's also something I could live without and could see very easily breaking the 5e system if not done just right.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
I'd love to see the concepts of monster design make a return from 4e. Minions, elites, solos, as well as things like soldiers and skirmishers. You can obviously achieve them using the rules as is, but guidelines would be nice for quick eyeballing.

@Sacrosanct FWIW, I love Neutralize Poison. It's one of my go-to spells when I play a druid. It's specialized, but powerful, and well worth preparing IMO.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Overall I don't judge the game based on one specific rule or feature and care more about if the bits work together reasonably well.

Having said that one thing I would bring back is better options for fighting clerics from 4E. At low levels a fighting cleric can use healing word, but at higher levels I missed spells that let me attack and heal.

Of course that may just have been nostalgia for The Mighty Rev who used way too many D12s now and then.
 

Horwath

Explorer
1. Abilities reworked that they increase modifiers 1on1 basis. ..., 8: -2, 9: -1, 10: +0, 11: +1, ...

2. Max abilities before magic/high level class bonuses(if any) is 14(+4)

3. No racial bonuses or penalties on abilities, but some starting scores would have racial minimum/maximum.
I.E. Elves; min dex 12(+2), max con 12(+2)

4. starting abilities in point buy would be from 9(-1) to 13(+3)

5. Return to the old style of 3 saves: Fort, Ref, Will

6. dual classing instead of multiclassing.
I.E. 20th level character would be 20th level single class or 13/13 dual class split.
You would get 2 class levels at levels 5,8,11,14,17,20. Average HPs gain on those levels between classes.

7. Flat resistances in many things instead of "half damage"

8. Exhaustion levels give -1 to attack/damage/save/check rolls per level and -5ft speed penalty per level(min speed 5ft). 6th exhaustion level means death.

9. Separate resource pool for combat feats/non-combat feats/racial feats/ASIs/extra skills. General feats would give option for all feat types to choose from.

10. Remove armor/weapon proficiencies. Add minimum and optimum strength for armor use and weapon styles and number of extra attacks to balance weapon users.
I.E. 20th level fighter could have 6 or 7 attacks while 20th level wizard would have 2 or 3.

oh,wait. this was for old returning mechanics? :p
 
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vivsavage

Explorer
1) Creatures that can only be hit by magical weapons. The idea of my nonmagical sword being able to damage a ghost (albeit at half damage) doesn't work for me.

2) Categories for saving throws similar to AD&D. Not the same, mind you, but in that spirit. Saves based solely on ability scores lacks flavor.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
Multiclassing through feats as another option (don't get rid of level MCing, also fine with dual-classing or hybrid multiclassing being added as well, more options the better).
Visions of Avarice (a spell from 4e which I just love the flavor of, mechanics can change), I would further change the flavor a little so that whatever the illusion is for each enemy is whatever thing they desire most, rather than just a generic treasure hoard.
More granularity in skill progressions (but I don't think I want skill ranks the way they were, either, some new way, and not sure the PF2E way works for me either, I might never be happy, honestly).
Ways to use weapons in more interesting ways.
Companion characters as a baked-in feature of the game. The sidekicks in the Essentials Kit are decent start, and I understand that some don't want mass combats to be a regular thing. Some middle ground would be nice.
 

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