log in or register to remove this ad


6E Mike Mearls “…it’s now obvious how to live without Bonus Actions”' And 6th Edition When Players Ask

With all due respect to Mike Mearls, he is wrong. The action economy in 5th Edition is beautifully designed, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.


log in or register to remove this ad


Rules Monkey
Thanks, at least it has context now, other then jumbled text with red letters...

Keep forgetting to drink the koolaid before I browse here.. must correct that... :lol:
At the very least, it would make you less needy and whiny when you don't get what you want right away. :)

Andrew C

First Post
I like the bonus action. I can all to easily see special attack manoeuvre, and the special movement manoeuvre feature, and then racial or class special manoeuvre creeping in and making some complex.

The iniative system on the table Mike Mentioned added up for more to players and DMs to remember thereby increasing the barrier of entry to D&D.

you can sense in places that the Bonus action has been taged onto the system.

For example if you look at class abilities they often use the wording using a bonus action on your turn. but other only refer to as a bonus action
This diference in wording seems to sugest you mght be able to use bonus actions outside of your turn, why else state that certain bonus actions can only be taken on your turn?.

But the rules for bonus actions already say that bonus actions are taken on your turn, meaning that for example you can't ready a bonus action.


I do see what he's saying. It's not always readily apparent what's going on in the game when things get confused between action and bonus action. It gets particularly problematic when you have classes that sometimes juggle their bonus action. A two weapon fighting rogue, for example. Hardly a rare thing. But, if you make your second attack, you can't take your rogue bonus action. We've tripped on that one more than a few times where the rogue has tried to take too many actions.

It's not as clear cut as it could be. Imagine rogues where it says, "After you attack, you may, if you wish, do X, Y or Z". Simply remove the competition for bonus actions.

Even things like extra attacks. Ok, Barbarian gets multiple attacks. Cool. Then he gets a bonus action attack because of his Frenzy. No problem. But, wait! He has Great Weapon Fighting, which grants bonus action attacks when you kill something. It can get confusing.


To be fair, Mearls said "We are nowhere near that now" in referring to a new edition.

My biggest issue with 5e is the lack of self-contained stat blocks. Monsters and NPCs with spells I have a look up is just poor design, IMO. I'd love to see a variant Monster Manual with self-contained stat blocks, an official Tome of Battle 5e conversion, and a 5e book on crafting, kingdom/domain management, and castle-building. Then I would truly have the ultimate perfect edition that I would play until the end of time. :)

Olaf the Stout

We're not even 3 years into and so far WotC have released a 1-2 player focused books (depends if you count Volo's as a player or a DM book) outside of the PHB.

With that in mind, I'd much prefer if Mearls didn't start making 6E comments just yet. I know he didn't say 6E is coming, but there wasn't even a need to mention it.


Bonus actions work fine, and I don't like his initiative system proposal. There are some things that can be improved, but these are not them.


You don't really need the bonus/minor actions in D&D and it basically complicates the game.
Sure it complicates the game. Having magic in the game as opposed to just martial fighting complicates the game. The question is, "what's the right balance of complication?"

Bonus/minor actions allow you to not waste a whole action on something that shouldn't take that long. They give more space in the rules to allow classes to do more interesting things and combos of things. I'm willing to listen to any suggestions, but I'm worried taking out bonus actions would remove too many interesting options.


Thanks, at least it has context now, other then jumbled text with red letters...
Right, it's a Twitter conversation. That means it's jumbled text with black letters.

(Seriously, I cannot fathom how anyone can bear to follow anything on Twitter. I am deeply grateful to y'all who follow Mearls and repost his stuff here, because otherwise I'd never know about it.)

Bonus actions don't necessarily have to be eliminated, but they are massively overused. If I were in charge of overhauling 5E, I would make a list of all the bonus actions, and think hard about whether each one really needs to be a bonus action or whether it could be reworked to be part of a standard action, or not an action at all.

Two-weapon fighting is the poster child for bonus actions gone wrong. It could be trivially merged into the regular Attack action (if you have two weapons, when you make the Attack action, you can attack once with the off hand), and having it as a bonus action is a major penalty for dual wielders. That one would definitely go.

Bonus action spells would be trickier, though. Those might have to stay.

I guess the college of swords blade flourish is some kind of playtest for that. And I do like it. I even like it competing with TWF. (Until level 6 but that is a different problem). It has about the same effect as TWF competing with cunning action. A little bit more limited but still ok.
If the rogue had a special attack that allows him to disengage dash or hide again it would still work well.


Possibly a Idiot.
The action economy is complicated. But that's mostly because it's obfuscated with Natural Language.

Bonus Actions are a good game-play element, at their core. The concept of being able to do something important on your turn and still attack is a good idea. It's just that some of the auxiliary mechanics attached to them are lacking (yes, everyone is looking at you, Two-Weapon fighting). It may be a better idea if Bonus Actions ever granted attacks to start with, but it's a bit late for that.


First Post
With all due respect to Mike Mearls, he is wrong. The action economy in 5th Edition is beautifully designed, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.
Indeed he is wrong... in fact I would greatly disagree with everything he has suggested lately. His Initiative system is a ridiculous idea -- taking us back in time where we have to pre-declare actions. 6th Edition? No... 5th is working perfectly fine thanks (with a little room for tweaking here or there). Bonus actions are also working fine. Maybe its time for Mike to retire because he has clearly lost touch with what makes the game great again.

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game


Latest threads

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game