D&D General My "Perfect D&D" Would Include...

My "Perfect D&D" Would include...

  • Alignment

    Votes: 41 39.0%
  • Species as Class

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • Species Class and Level Limits

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • "Kits"

    Votes: 17 16.2%
  • Prestige Classes

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • Class Archetypes

    Votes: 51 48.6%
  • Open Multiclassing (ie not limited by species)

    Votes: 54 51.4%
  • Psionics (as a separate, distinct magic subsystem)

    Votes: 37 35.2%
  • Paragon Paths

    Votes: 20 19.0%
  • "Encounter Abilities" in some form

    Votes: 26 24.8%
  • Complex Martials

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • Advantage/Disadvantage

    Votes: 67 63.8%
  • Save or Die/Suck effects

    Votes: 29 27.6%
  • Level Drain

    Votes: 23 21.9%
  • Rulership/Leadership rules

    Votes: 48 45.7%
  • Warfare Rules

    Votes: 45 42.9%
  • Paths to immortality

    Votes: 21 20.0%
  • 20 levels or less

    Votes: 52 49.5%
  • 20 levels or more

    Votes: 21 20.0%
  • Epic Level Rules (distinct from pre-epic advancement)

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • Narrow species choices

    Votes: 25 23.8%
  • Broad species choices

    Votes: 33 31.4%
  • Quadratic Wizards

    Votes: 8 7.6%
  • Grid based combat

    Votes: 54 51.4%
  • Theater of the mind based combat

    Votes: 57 54.3%
  • Skill Challenges

    Votes: 48 45.7%
  • Detailed Travel/Journey Rules

    Votes: 61 58.1%
  • Detailed Social Rules/Social "combat"

    Votes: 33 31.4%
  • Skills

    Votes: 90 85.7%
  • Feats

    Votes: 67 63.8%
  • Categorical Sving throws (AD&D)

    Votes: 9 8.6%
  • 3 Saves (Fort, Ref, Will)

    Votes: 40 38.1%
  • Ability based Saves

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Proficiency Bonus

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • XP from treasure

    Votes: 30 28.6%
  • XP from combat

    Votes: 36 34.3%
  • XP from story

    Votes: 64 61.0%
  • Player facing item creation rules

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Templates (for monsters)

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • Random treasure tables

    Votes: 53 50.5%
  • Something I forgot

    Votes: 33 31.4%

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Adding things that the DM is expected to remove is bad game design for the DM/player relationship. It creates a dynamic where the DM is "mean" if he takes away something that a player wants. It's much better, IMNSHO, for the base options to be minimal, and let the DM be benevolent by allowing extra options beyond the norm. This helps set the expectations better for both sides.
So go Human only and everything else is a bonus?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
I think the only issue I have with this is that I can mark things as yes or no - there's some that just don't matter to me either way, and I feel bad that by not checking them I'm saying I don't want them!

Still, what I do want essentially comes down to copying BECMI (right up to the I), but with races not being their own class, and the addition of multiclassing and advantage/disadvantage rules.

If I wanted to add something not listed, it would be to lose XP altogether in favor of milestone levelling.
 

I really, really don't want that, because as DM I want to make adjustments for contexts. Some locks are harder than others. And (speaking as a long time climber) some walls are definitely harder to climb. There's a whole rating system. It's quite detailed!
That's fine, as long as you write it down ahead of time, and no one ever talks about a "level 15 wall" or tells me this wall is made of dreamsteel so you can't climb it, or worse, looks at the DC table for level 16 characters, finds the "Medium" and then gives me a 65% chance of success on my climb check. Characters should get meaningfully better at things, and the rules of getting better should be laid out before they come up at the table, so that players can use them. Being able to climb all the things, or unlock anything that's locked, or always tumble past my foes should be part of the game, and should be an expected growth of player power, and players should be encouraged to use their abilities to overcome obstacles.

I don't want creative plans that make the DM pause, assigns a level appropriate DC to and then lets you roll for. I want creative plans that involve finding a way to use my ridiculous spider legs and climbing prowess to tackle a problem from a more climbing intensive angle.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Adding things that the DM is expected to remove is bad game design for the DM/player relationship. It creates a dynamic where the DM is "mean" if he takes away something that a player wants. It's much better, IMNSHO, for the base options to be minimal, and let the DM be benevolent by allowing extra options beyond the norm. This helps set the expectations better for both sides.
I'd write the rules to calmly and rationally explain to DMs not to remove things and to le players play what they want because the game is everyone's not just theirs. I mean, do what you want as a group, but the game expects everyone to get to have fun without getting in each others' way. That'd be my perfect D&D; one that doesn't have the current unpleasant power dynamic.
 

Reynard

Legend
I'd write the rules to calmly and rationally explain to DMs not to remove things and to le players play what they want because the game is everyone's not just theirs. I mean, do what you want as a group, but the game expects everyone to get to have fun without getting in each others' way. That'd be my perfect D&D; one that doesn't have the current unpleasant power dynamic.
But it also puts the vast majority of the worldbuilding work on the GM's shoulders, and part of worldbuilding is deciding what exists in the world. Now, I think a good GM will listen to their players and see if the weirdo race the player wants fits in the world somewhere, even if it is a rarity, but I also think it is okay for the GM to say "No."
 

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
I don't want creative plans that make the DM pause, assigns a level appropriate DC to and then lets you roll for. I want creative plans that involve finding a way to use my ridiculous spider legs and climbing prowess to tackle a problem from a more climbing intensive angle.
On that subject, I also want rules that allow me a way to have those rediculous spider legs in the first place without everyone sitting around for three hours debating whether it's even possible with this ruleset and how to actually make it work. Just give me some nice easy way that allows me to trade off something I have to get something I don't and give it some kind of roll or bonus against some kind of skill or attribute without having to choose one of the 20 allowed and defined options that can be used in this instance.

Or, as I like to put it sometimes... please keep the rules out of my way as much as possible rather than defining more and more ways to force me to stick within them.
 

Clint_L

Hero
That's fine, as long as you write it down ahead of time, and no one ever talks about a "level 15 wall" or tells me this wall is made of dreamsteel so you can't climb it, or worse, looks at the DC table for level 16 characters, finds the "Medium" and then gives me a 65% chance of success on my climb check. Characters should get meaningfully better at things, and the rules of getting better should be laid out before they come up at the table, so that players can use them. Being able to climb all the things, or unlock anything that's locked, or always tumble past my foes should be part of the game, and should be an expected growth of player power, and players should be encouraged to use their abilities to overcome obstacles.

I don't want creative plans that make the DM pause, assigns a level appropriate DC to and then lets you roll for. I want creative plans that involve finding a way to use my ridiculous spider legs and climbing prowess to tackle a problem from a more climbing intensive angle.
You are aptly named.
 

Clint_L

Hero
DC 5 for a knotted rope and DC 20 for a cliff face are benchmarks. That's what "benchmark" means. Knowing what the system expects as far as difficulty is an important tool for the GM in adjudicating difficulties. "East" and "hard" lead the GM toward relativistic DCs, instead of objective ones. The same climb shouldn't be just as hard for a 1st level thief as a 13th level one just because the GM wants it to be "hard." At that point why are we leveling at all?
Story first, thanks. Characters have to face challenges or it's not fun. So why would I give them the same climb on a level 13 character? Should I also have them fight kobolds? Of course levelling is a treadmill, as far as difficulty goes - it's supposed to be. But other things comes with levelling, such as new options for solving problems. The problems still have to be just as challenging, relative to level. Relativistic is a good thing.

However, if players want to imagine going and face rolling through "Lost Mine of Phandelver" on their level 13 characters, have at it! Just not how I want to spend my evenings.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Edit: some surprises on the list thus far. I thought alignment would be more popular. I didn't think advantage/disadvantage would get so much support; I thought it was more controversial.
In and of itself adv-disadv is a very good mechanic, which explains it getting lots of votes.

Overusing it to the point of absurdity, as 5e does and in place of other better mechanics, is what makes it controversial.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
But it also puts the vast majority of the worldbuilding work on the GM's shoulders, and part of worldbuilding is deciding what exists in the world. Now, I think a good GM will listen to their players and see if the weirdo race the player wants fits in the world somewhere, even if it is a rarity, but I also think it is okay for the GM to say "No."
The perfect D&D would teach improv and also that not everything a player character is has to be built into the world in the first place. One-offs are A-OK.
 


Matt Thomason

Adventurer
You probably wouldn't. But if the PCs returned to that location 10 levels later (for whatever reason) the DC of that climb should not have changed just because they are better at climbing.
Yeah, like if they're climbing a cliff to a nice spot to build their secret castle headquarters at L5, then the day the secret stairwell is compromised when they're L15 and have improved their climbing ability and have to repeat that same old climb, I would not be a fan of recalculating it to give them the exact same chance just to ensure it's "still a challenge". The way to do that is to give them new, harder cliffs to climb in their L15 stories, while also showing them the stuff they did 10 levels ago is now simpler.

Of course, I may well add some orcs pouring boiling oil down that old cliff...
 

Clint_L

Hero
You probably wouldn't. But if the PCs returned to that location 10 levels later (for whatever reason) the DC of that climb should not have changed just because they are better at climbing.
Well, of course not. But I don't need big lists of things in the PHB to tell me that. This just seems like a solution in search of a problem.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I don't understand your point. Prince Huperdink can track a falcon on a cloudy day because he has a +19 and the DC for that is 25 (or whatever, it's just an example). I don't understand why listing DC 45 difficulties (for 3.x; for 5E it would be DC 30 difficulties) is a problem. They are still benchmarks. It says "This is what is considered 'impossible' for climbing in 5E." It takes minimal space and provides the GM with valuable information with which they can adjudicate. Win-win.
The point is that a tier1 PC(L1-4?) & a tier2 PC (L5-9?)/tier3 PC(L10-16?)/tier4(L17+) face different challenges. There used to be a mechanic that the GM could use to adjust the values as appropriate (which is pretty much what the dc5-dc43 table shows) but 5e moved away from that kind of thing in favor of bounded accuracy & what @Lanefan eloquently summarized as overusing advantage/disadvantage "to the point of absurdity" resulting in a situation where players feel cheated opts to give bob DCs that enable competence porn rather than everything just having the world turn into an endless chain if Absurdly Ineffective Barricades once the party crosses the bounds of "bounded" accuracy.
 

Reynard

Legend
I find it interesting that the single most popular element is skills, which (at least in their modern form) are a pretty recent addition to D&D (but not RPGs in general, obvs).
 


Matt Thomason

Adventurer
The point is that a tier1 PC(L1-4?) & a tier2 PC (L5-9?)/tier3 PC(L10-16?)/tier4(L17+) face different challenges. There used to be a mechanic that the GM could use to adjust the values as appropriate (which is pretty much what the dc5-dc43 table shows) but 5e moved away from that kind of thing in favor of bounded accuracy & what @Lanefan eloquently summarized as overusing advantage/disadvantage "to the point of absurdity" resulting in a situation where players feel cheated opts to give bob DCs that enable competence porn rather than everything just having the world turn into an endless chain if Absurdly Ineffective Barricades once the party crosses the bounds of "bounded" accuracy.
I think this is one of the reasons I prefer BECMI's solution - low-level characters face monsters in dungeons, mid-level characters deal with kingdom-level threats, and high-level characters go waltzing off through gates to other planes.
 

Well, of course not. But I don't need big lists of things in the PHB to tell me that. This just seems like a solution in search of a problem.
I absolutely want that list. So that at level 16, when I have taken a series of abilities that let me consistently make the climb checks to cling to a vertical surface and move my full speed, I can make confident, declarative statements about how I solve problems.

The challenge shouldn't be "make a climb check" the challenge should be "get to this idol floating in the middle of the lava lake" and the climbing is a tool a player might choose to use. I want that decision to matter, in a way that "this is a level 15 challenge, you're using climb, okay, you could describe that as clinging to the ceiling" can't handle. I want to pick climbing not because it's narratively interesting but because I think it's the optimal solution, and is a better choice than something else I could have done.

This is important because it is in opposition to a narrative understanding of challenge, and produces gameplay that cannot be achieved in a game that uses a relative method or narrative method to resolve skill checks. Either the game is designed with that kind of player facing challenge in mind, or it isn't.
 

Scribe

Legend
i'd have voted for fixed(or an established default at the very least) species modifiers if that were on the list.

Without a doubt. 100% in my game.

To the shock and horror of all, my list is.

Alignment
Species Class and Level Limits
Prestige Classes
Class Archetypes
Open Multiclass
Psionics
Paragons
Save or Die/Suck
Level Drain
Rule/Leadership Rules
Immortality
20 Levels or Less
Epic Levels
Broad Species Choice
Grid Combat
Skill Challenge
Travel/Journey
Social Rules
Skills
Feats
3 Saves
Ability Saves
XP x 3
Item Creation Rules
Random Treasure
Something I forgot (Race ASI)

AKA: PF1/3.5+
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
I put it to you that the Great Dividing Line above is:

Grid based combat vs. Theater of the mind based combat

You can come up with a great long list and none of those things hint at a real separator in terms of how combat flows and how the game is actually played, until you get to that one.

That is the Great Generational Divide. That is the OD&D/1st/2nd/BECMI vs 3//4/5 divide.

That is TSR vs WotC. Old vs New.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top