5E Mechanics you don't want to see, ever

Immoralkickass

Explorer
After looking at Rune Knight and Revived Rogue, I thought that some things should never appear in the books as mechanics. I just feel that things like height change, and personality/bonds/flaws change should not be a class/subclass features. They are no concrete rules for that, and you can't tell me how my character looks, or how to RP my character. If i want to play a character with multiple personalities, I will do so without needing mechanics to tell me.
Subclasses should grant things that you will see use without having to wait for the stars and moon to align with a comet that comes every few hundred years (look at you, Undying Warlock).

So without further ado, things i don't want to see:
  • Appearance changes. As mentioned above.
  • Bonus Distances less than 5 ft. Oh you, un-Remarkable Athlete. I know not everyone play using grids and minis, but come on. Don't waste printing space with insignificant stuff that won't make a difference 99% of the time.
  • Alignment change. No real mechanics other than certain magic item having requirements, which i think is arbitrary.
  • Crappy ribbon abilities with high level requirement. Monk & Druid's Timeless Body. Do you want to commit to a single class just to be rewarded with abilities you will never use?

Any other things you can think of?
 
Last edited:

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
After looking at Rune Knight and Revived Rogue, I thought that some things should never appear in the books as mechanics. I just feel that things like height change, and personality/bonds/flaws change should not be a class/subclass features. They are no concrete rules for that, and you can't tell me how my character looks, or how to RP my character. If i want to play a character with multiple personalities, I will do so without needing mechanics to tell me.
Subclasses should grant things that you will see use without having to wait for the stars and moon to align with a comet that comes every few hundred years (look at you, Undying Warlock).

So without further ado, things i don't want to see:
  • Appearance changes. As mentioned above.
  • Bonus Distances less than 5 ft. Oh you, un-Remarkable Athlete. I know not everyone play using grids and minis, but come on. Don't waste printing space with insignificant stuff that won't make a difference 99% of the time.
  • Alignment change. No real mechanics other than certain magic item having requirements, which i think is arbitrary.
  • Crappy ribbon abilities with high level requirement. Monk & Druid's Timeless Body. Do you want to commit to a single class just to be rewarded with abilities you will never use?

Any other things you can think of?
LOL, and this is what is great about the spectrum of players for D&D.

The height change and the ability to mess with your personality/bonds/flaws from those two UA subclasses are some of my favorite parts of them :) If you don't want those abilities, but still want to play these subclasses, just work with your DM and ignore them.

I'm also not commiting to a single class for Ribbon abilities, I'd commit to a single class because that was the class I wanted to play, the Ribbons are just that, Ribbons that are there for flavor more than impact or utility.

In the spirit of your thread though... Things I don't want to see:
  • More single abilities that stack forced movement (Repelling Blast I'm looking at you).
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
This might be a controversial one, but class abilities that give the players narrative control of the world. I think such mechanics work very well in other games, but I don’t think they’re a good fit for 5e. I think those kinds of mechanics can work in certain contexts - for example I’ve run a prison escape scene where the players could interrupt the action to add a detail to the scene by describing a flashback where they set the added detail up in advance. But I think such things need to be used sparingly and with very specific intent to work within the flow of play in 5e, so attaching such narrative mechanics to class or subclass abilities would be too disruptive in my opinion.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This might be a controversial one, but class abilities that give the players narrative control of the world. I think such mechanics work very well in other games, but I don’t think they’re a good fit for 5e. I think those kinds of mechanics can work in certain contexts - for example I’ve run a prison escape scene where the players could interrupt the action to add a detail to the scene by describing a flashback where they set the added detail up in advance. But I think such things need to be used sparingly and with very specific intent to work within the flow of play in 5e, so attaching such narrative mechanics to class or subclass abilities would be too disruptive in my opinion.
I definitely think that such mechanics belong in a somewhat siloed work, perhaps 3pp, that is clearly demarcated as optional and meant to be used in a campaign that focuses on that sort of play.

That being said, I’m working on an Inspiration variant that is exactly that, available to all player characters.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I definitely think that such mechanics belong in a somewhat siloed work, perhaps 3pp, that is clearly demarcated as optional and meant to be used in a campaign that focuses on that sort of play.

That being said, I’m working on an Inspiration variant that is exactly that, available to all player characters.
I've played around with Inspiration granting narrative control, I think that'd be fine in the right campaign. I just wouldn't want it to be the default, and I wouldn't want class abilities tied to it - outside of, as you say, more siloed 3rd party works. Adventures in Middle Earth is a good example of a 3rd party product that utilizes such mechanics pretty well. But they work well because the whole book is written to facilitate campaigns where that's a focus. I wouldn't port the AIME (sub)classes over to standard 5e without addressing those abilities.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
After looking at Rune Knight and Revived Rogue, I thought that some things should never appear in the books as mechanics. I just feel that things like height change, and personality/bonds/flaws change should not be a class/subclass features. They are no concrete rules for that, and you can't tell me how my character looks, or how to RP my character. If i want to play a character with multiple personalities, I will do so without needing mechanics to tell me.
Subclasses should grant things that you will see use without having to wait for the stars and moon to align with a comet that comes every few hundred years (look at you, Undying Warlock).

So without further ado, things i don't want to see:
  • Appearance changes. As mentioned above.
  • Bonus Distances less than 5 ft. Oh you, un-Remarkable Athlete. I know not everyone play using grids and minis, but come on. Don't waste printing space with insignificant stuff that won't make a difference 99% of the time.
  • Alignment change. No real mechanics other than certain magic item having requirements, which i think is arbitrary.
  • Crappy ribbon abilities with high level requirement. Monk & Druid's Timeless Body. Do you want to commit to a single class just to be rewarded with abilities you will never use?

Any other things you can think of?
Wouldn't appearance change just be a toned-down and more specific version of shapechange? People seem to like shapechange well enough...

Alignment change shouldn't be something someone can do at their own choice, but is certainly valid as a curse or undesired side effect of somehting.

Bonus distance less than 5' is only relevant if covering lots of ground where it can add up to something, and not so useful in most combats.

======================
As for mechanics I don't (or didn't) ever want to see:

Ranged non-magical healing - er, maybe too late on that one.
Full reload of all abilities at will, or after any encounter - er, that horse is almost out of the barn too.
Free and automatic revival from death if the player so desires - well, that horse is chasing the other one
Forced or default use of array or point-buy for char-gen - hold this hill till we die, soldiers!
Baked-in race or class benefits without corresponding penalties somewhere else - and this one too!
Forced or default use of group xp (or milestone levelling) rather than individual xp - and this one also!
Xp awarded for out-of-game player actions - not a problem yet
Jack-of-all-trades classes or class combinations with no weaknesses - problem since 1e
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Wouldn't appearance change just be a toned-down and more specific version of shapechange? People seem to like shapechange well enough...
I've played a Wild Magic sorcerer, and some of the wild surges change your appearance, age, etc. Those that temporary change your appearance are amusing, but some are permanent change, which are a problem and I can understand if one refuse to accept it, or simply not want to play that character anymore.
 
This might be a controversial one, but class abilities that give the players narrative control of the world. I think such mechanics work very well in other games, but I don’t think they’re a good fit for 5e. I think those kinds of mechanics can work in certain contexts - for example I’ve run a prison escape scene where the players could interrupt the action to add a detail to the scene by describing a flashback where they set the added detail up in advance. But I think such things need to be used sparingly and with very specific intent to work within the flow of play in 5e, so attaching such narrative mechanics to class or subclass abilities would be too disruptive in my opinion.
This was the first thing that popped into my head too. And I agree that there is a place for it in some games, but in D&D the DM is the narrator. And 5e has a few things that edge a bit too far in that direction for my liking, like Divination wizards.
 
Wouldn't appearance change just be a toned-down and more specific version of shapechange? People seem to like shapechange well enough...
I'm sure most DMs would come up with some way to reverse it if a player wasn't happy with it - or as with the Rune Knight simply allow the player to ignore it.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
  • XP loss - this was probably a worse effect than death in AD&D, creating radical party imbalance; worse in 3E when death also meant level loss
  • Drama Dice - from 7th Sea, basically a PC could do something cool, which empowered the DM to something really bad to the party later (1 person benefits, but everyone suffers)
  • Disadvantages - granting character benefits at creation for taking on flaws (which will largely be ignored during play)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
After looking at Rune Knight and Revived Rogue, I thought that some things should never appear in the books as mechanics. I just feel that things like height change, and personality/bonds/flaws change should not be a class/subclass features. They are no concrete rules for that, and you can't tell me how my character looks, or how to RP my character. If i want to play a character with multiple personalities, I will do so without needing mechanics to tell me.
Subclasses should grant things that you will see use without having to wait for the stars and moon to align with a comet that comes every few hundred years (look at you, Undying Warlock).

So without further ado, things i don't want to see:
  • Appearance changes. As mentioned above.
  • Bonus Distances less than 5 ft. Oh you, un-Remarkable Athlete. I know not everyone play using grids and minis, but come on. Don't waste printing space with insignificant stuff that won't make a difference 99% of the time.
  • Alignment change. No real mechanics other than certain magic item having requirements, which i think is arbitrary.
  • Crappy ribbon abilities with high level requirement. Monk & Druid's Timeless Body. Do you want to commit to a single class just to be rewarded with abilities you will never use?

Any other things you can think of?
So if another player uses a Wish to turn your character into half your height or twice your height, or to drastically alter your alignment or make you donate all your gold or soemthing, what would you do?

Those are perfectly valid uses of a wish mechanically. You should get a saving throw, but let's say you failed it. Then what?
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Agreed. I replaced level drain with extra damage back in 2e and never looked back. Sure, level drain made certain undead terrifying, but it was absolutely un-fun. The aging attack of a ghost was similarly problematic (I'm a little surprised it made it to 5e, honestly).

The magic item creation rules of 3e also required spending XP. That never sat well with me, either.

  • XP loss - this was probably a worse effect than death in AD&D, creating radical party imbalance; worse in 3E when death also meant level loss
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
This might be a controversial one, but class abilities that give the players narrative control of the world. I think such mechanics work very well in other games, but I don’t think they’re a good fit for 5e. I think those kinds of mechanics can work in certain contexts - for example I’ve run a prison escape scene where the players could interrupt the action to add a detail to the scene by describing a flashback where they set the added detail up in advance. But I think such things need to be used sparingly and with very specific intent to work within the flow of play in 5e, so attaching such narrative mechanics to class or subclass abilities would be too disruptive in my opinion.
I think these would be great but I agree that they don't suit every game so should probably be optional.

Personally alignment change mechanics and idiocy like Evil people do Necrotic, Good people do Radiant is the most awful stuff to me. It doesn't even work thematically and is ridiculous and limiting. 5E has a particularly brain dead bit of this with Angels, who serve Good deities, whereas Neutral and Evil deities have no servants (demons and devils are ironically ruled out as such by the same book). Angels are messengers and should serve all actual god-gods, like 4E, whereas people like Asmodeus could have devils/demons. Likewise necrotic or radiant or whatever should be down to the specific god, not the alignment of the god, let alone the alignment of the PC!
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
They are no concrete rules for that, and you can't tell me how my character looks, or how to RP my character.
Let's explore this. The game has never been shy about inflicting mental states on characters -- mostly fear and madness. Appearance changes are somewhat rarer, especially since the injury system is abstracted, but under certain circumstances it may be appropriate for the DM to say "You just burned off all your hair". And in the extreme they can definitely say "You are dead", which if you think about it is a pretty dramatic change to how your character looks and is RPed. Are those situations okay? If so, what's the difference between those and this?
 

Advertisement

Top