OneDnD One D&D Expert Classes Playtest Document Is Live

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The One D&D Expert Class playest document is now available to download. You can access it by signing into your D&D Beyond account at the link below. It contains three classes -- bard, rogue, and ranger, along with three associated subclasses (College of Lore, Thief, and Hunter), plus a number of feats.

 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Just change the spell list to "powers". A wizard/cleric/druid/sorcerer can cast any powers on their powers list with spell slots. A ranger / fighter get some of the powers as an at-will or x per short/long rest. Monks use ki points. Certain monsters (and perhaps certain future class options) can cast them psionically, etc.

For certain classes the power wouldn't be treated as magic. Wizards continue to benefit from being able to draw on a wide variety of supernatural powers by weaving magic with spells. Others achieve certain powers through force of will or because they are supernaturally gifted.

I like how in Flee! Mortals (by MCCM) they distinguish psionic vs magic power and use "supernatural" to apply to both. Psionic powers are not affected by dispel magic, counterspell, anti-magic fields, etc. Similarly, in my ideal system, a power used by fighter, monk, or ranger would be similarly unaffected by anti-magic. Only if a power specifically states immunity or the ability to counter psionics, or any supernatural power, will it affect non-spell powers.

I would go one further. I would like more granularity in anti-magic. I would like to see some anti-magic only affect arcane magic and not divine magic. You need clerics to counter clerics as a battle of faith. Wizards are better and countering wizards, because they know each other's tricks. I don't know how well that would go over with the wider gaming community but I'm thinking of making some homerules for this. It really wouldn't make the rule much more complex in terms of being able to remember them but it would add to complexity in terms of strategizing and tactics, which would make combat and certain challenges more interesting in my opinion.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Just change the spell list to "powers". A wizard/cleric/druid/sorcerer can cast any powers on their powers list with spell slots. A ranger / fighter get some of the powers as an at-will or x per short/long rest. Monks use ki points. Certain monsters (and perhaps certain future class options) can cast them psionically, etc.

For certain classes the power wouldn't be treated as magic. Wizards continue to benefit from being able to draw on a wide variety of supernatural powers by weaving magic with spells. Others achieve certain powers through force of will or because they are supernaturally gifted.

I like how in Flee! Mortals (by MCCM) they distinguish psionic vs magic power and use "supernatural" to apply to both. Psionic powers are not affected by dispel magic, counterspell, anti-magic fields, etc. Similarly, in my ideal system, a power used by fighter, monk, or ranger would be similarly unaffected by anti-magic. Only if a power specifically states immunity or the ability to counter psionics, or any supernatural power, will it affect non-spell powers.

I would go one further. I would like more granularity in anti-magic. I would like to see some anti-magic only affect arcane magic and not divine magic. You need clerics to counter clerics as a battle of faith. Wizards are better and countering wizards, because they know each other's tricks. I don't know how well that would go over with the wider gaming community but I'm thinking of making some homerules for this. It really wouldn't make the rule much more complex in terms of being able to remember them but it would add to complexity in terms of strategizing and tactics, which would make combat and certain challenges more interesting in my opinion.
Overall, imo, the game needs more restrictions like this. But I get that's not the direction.....
 


Just change the spell list to "powers". A wizard/cleric/druid/sorcerer can cast any powers on their powers list with spell slots. A ranger / fighter get some of the powers as an at-will or x per short/long rest. Monks use ki points. Certain monsters (and perhaps certain future class options) can cast them psionically, etc.

For certain classes the power wouldn't be treated as magic. Wizards continue to benefit from being able to draw on a wide variety of supernatural powers by weaving magic with spells. Others achieve certain powers through force of will or because they are supernaturally gifted.

I like how in Flee! Mortals (by MCCM) they distinguish psionic vs magic power and use "supernatural" to apply to both. Psionic powers are not affected by dispel magic, counterspell, anti-magic fields, etc. Similarly, in my ideal system, a power used by fighter, monk, or ranger would be similarly unaffected by anti-magic. Only if a power specifically states immunity or the ability to counter psionics, or any supernatural power, will it affect non-spell powers.
I'm very against Psionics not being dispellable by dispel magic or invalid against magic resistance. Even if more core classes in the PHB use it because that's the sort of thing that gets Psionics banned from tables. Even if it's the most balanced system ever, it will lead to a widespread ban against Psionics because "it's overpowered".
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
I'm very against Psionics not being dispellable by dispel magic or invalid against magic resistance. Even if more core classes in the PHB use it because that's the sort of thing that gets Psionics banned from tables. Even if it's the most balanced system ever, it will lead to a widespread ban against Psionics because "it's overpowered".
Not if psionics is treated equally (or replaces) magic. The problem is that it's always treated as an add-on.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I'm very against Psionics not being dispellable by dispel magic or invalid against magic resistance. Even if more core classes in the PHB use it because that's the sort of thing that gets Psionics banned from tables. Even if it's the most balanced system ever, it will lead to a widespread ban against Psionics because "it's overpowered".
Exactly.

If anyone wants to test this: house rule that the sorcerer (usually considered the weakest full caster) no longer has to worry about their magic being counted, dispelled, subject to VSM components, or antimagic, and isn't even affected by magic resistance. See how long it takes for them to break the game.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Exactly.

If anyone wants to test this: house rule that the sorcerer (usually considered the weakest full caster) no longer has to worry about their magic being counted, dispelled, subject to VSM components, or antimagic, and isn't even affected by magic resistance. See how long it takes for them to break the game.
Yeah, I can see that. Unless you are creating a heavily home-brewed world with sufficient NPCs and monsters with psionics, I could definitely see the issue. In my current campaign, only certain monsters have psionic abilities and I've ruled that these are not magic and are not affected by anti-magic abilities and spells. It just mixes things up a bit.

I've given some thought to divine vs arcane magic. I would like them to feel different. I would like the clerics and arcane casters to feel more different than just having access to different spells. At the same time I don't want to make things overly complex. I've been toying with the idea of counter spell only working against arcane casted spells and giving clerics & druids something similar that counters divine spells cast by followers of another faith/god. I also have toyed with ranger "spells" not being treated as "spells". I think this would work well without breaking the game, but in the divine vs arcane example, it does involve basically tweaking the rules/wording of individual spells. I would rather have an elegant rule that covers this.

I am fairly certain that One D&D would not go done this route for the base rules, but it would be nice if they would come up with some more creative and interesting variant rules for the new DMG to give different flavors to magic in different campaigns.
 

Hussar

Legend
It feels like names have a lot of power to some/many people when discussing psionics too. Whereas as some/many others find it much ado about nothing.

Does calling them knacks, prayers, spells, whatnots depending on class but having them all work the same as spells work for you just as well for you mechanically and for ease of play?
I get it. I mean, that's what D&D has generally done in the past. And, it does work.

But, it's making needless distinctions for the sake of trying to make things different. As was mentioned, if we call everything "powers", then people lose their poop and that doesn't work.

Apparently though, if we call everything "spells" it's more acceptable - 10 (ish) years of 5e has proven that. To the point where even non-casters like barbarians and elemental monks get abilities (speak with animals for example) which just reference the actual spell. So, if we're going to give them spells anyway, why not just give them a casting ability, and let the player choose what "abilities" they can do?

IOW, why piddle about with Elemental Monks having a unique casting system that doesn't really work (apparently since everyone bitches about the Elemental Monk) when you can just make them half casters like rangers or paladins, grant them a selection of spells and poof, end of problem. I mean, the Way of the Four Elements Monk is literally (as per the text in the PHB) casting spells. Flat out dropping spells up to and including using the rules for spellcasting. But, instead of just making me a half caster and giving me a selection of spells and let me build my own elemental monk, I have to use this wonky ki system casting that doesn't really work. :erm:

There are very, very good reasons for standardizing things. When things are standardized, they work a lot better.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
IOW, why piddle about with Elemental Monks having a unique casting system that doesn't really work (apparently since everyone bitches about the Elemental Monk) when you can just make them half casters like rangers or paladins, grant them a selection of spells and poof, end of problem. I mean, the Way of the Four Elements Monk is literally (as per the text in the PHB) casting spells. Flat out dropping spells up to and including using the rules for spellcasting. But, instead of just making me a half caster and giving me a selection of spells and let me build my own elemental monk, I have to use this wonky ki system casting that doesn't really work. :erm:

I was under the impression that what people don’t like about casting with Ki is not that “it doesn’t work” but just that it poaches the base class resource.

What else about it doesn’t work? I haven’t played one but was in a campaign with one and it seemed to be fine.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I get it. I mean, that's what D&D has generally done in the past. And, it does work.

But, it's making needless distinctions for the sake of trying to make things different. As was mentioned, if we call everything "powers", then people lose their poop and that doesn't work.

Apparently though, if we call everything "spells" it's more acceptable - 10 (ish) years of 5e has proven that. To the point where even non-casters like barbarians and elemental monks get abilities (speak with animals for example) which just reference the actual spell. So, if we're going to give them spells anyway, why not just give them a casting ability, and let the player choose what "abilities" they can do?

IOW, why piddle about with Elemental Monks having a unique casting system that doesn't really work (apparently since everyone bitches about the Elemental Monk) when you can just make them half casters like rangers or paladins, grant them a selection of spells and poof, end of problem. I mean, the Way of the Four Elements Monk is literally (as per the text in the PHB) casting spells. Flat out dropping spells up to and including using the rules for spellcasting. But, instead of just making me a half caster and giving me a selection of spells and let me build my own elemental monk, I have to use this wonky ki system casting that doesn't really work. :erm:

There are very, very good reasons for standardizing things. When things are standardized, they work a lot better.
The distinctions are needless to you. Standardization is always better to you. You are not the official representative of the D&D fandom, here to tell us how wrong we all are for wanting something different than what we're getting.

it seems pretty clear that people want different things. By definition, that must mean that standardizing everything isn't objectively the best way to go, just the way you prefer.

Your opinion on this issue is just your opinion, just like everyone else's.
 

Hussar

Legend
The distinctions are needless to you. Standardization is always better to you. You are not the official representative of the D&D fandom, here to tell us how wrong we all are for wanting something different than what we're getting.

it seems pretty clear that people want different things. By definition, that must mean that standardizing everything isn't objectively the best way to go, just the way you prefer.

Your opinion on this issue is just your opinion, just like everyone else's.
So? I'm not supposed to have an opinion or voice it?

At least I can definitively support my opinion with things like facts. The game has consistently become simpler over the years with bunches of little subsystems being molded together to form more unified, easier to run mechanics that we see today.

Where's your evidence that adding complexity makes for a better game experience?
 

Apparently though, if we call everything "spells" it's more acceptable - 10 (ish) years of 5e has proven that. To the point where even non-casters like barbarians and elemental monks get abilities (speak with animals for example) which just reference the actual spell.
I'd have said it was less acceptable. Most people are more than willing to accept the Psi Warrior, the Echo Knight, the Soulknife, the Phantom, the Storm Barbarian, and a whole lot of other people who can go above and beyond and just are. The Tasha's Ranger is accepted as a ranger in a way that when you're used to a car that doesn't work having one that gets you from A to B however ugly it looks is an improvement.
IOW, why piddle about with Elemental Monks having a unique casting system that doesn't really work (apparently since everyone bitches about the Elemental Monk)
People don't bitch about the Elemental Monk's casting system; the Shadow Monk uses almost the same casting system and as far as I can tell no one bitches about that. People bitch about the Elemental Monk being terrible because it's menchanically bad and gets across itself with the spells costing far too much.

Good fluff and mechanics > Bland but functional > Fluffy with barely functional mechanics.

The Tasha's Ranger is in the bland but functional category for rangers. The PHB ranger was in the fluffy category.
There are very, very good reasons for standardizing things. When things are standardized, they work a lot better.
All else being equal standardization improves things - but it pushes things towards bland but functional from either side.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
So? I'm not supposed to have an opinion or voice it?

At least I can definitively support my opinion with things like facts. The game has consistently become simpler over the years with bunches of little subsystems being molded together to form more unified, easier to run mechanics that we see today.

Where's your evidence that adding complexity makes for a better game experience?
Do you have evidence that simplicity makes for a superior game experience, other than that the most popular RPG is designed that way? There are plenty of more complex TTRPGs. Are they are objectively worse than 5e?

Have and voice whatever opinion you want. What I object is your insistence that your way is objectively superior to any other way.

The following is my opinion:

Having things be different mechanically helps to make them feel different in play, which helps with immersion. It can also help with verisimilitude, which some people care about.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'd have said it was less acceptable. Most people are more than willing to accept the Psi Warrior, the Echo Knight, the Soulknife, the Phantom, the Storm Barbarian, and a whole lot of other people who can go above and beyond and just are. The Tasha's Ranger is accepted as a ranger in a way that when you're used to a car that doesn't work having one that gets you from A to B however ugly it looks is an improvement.

People don't bitch about the Elemental Monk's casting system; the Shadow Monk uses almost the same casting system and as far as I can tell no one bitches about that. People bitch about the Elemental Monk being terrible because it's menchanically bad and gets across itself with the spells costing far too much.
Potato potahto. It's mechanically bad right? Spells cost too much right? All this would be solved if it slotted into the standard half caster progression.

Good fluff and mechanics > Bland but functional > Fluffy with barely functional mechanics.

The Tasha's Ranger is in the bland but functional category for rangers. The PHB ranger was in the fluffy category.

All else being equal standardization improves things - but it pushes things towards bland but functional from either side.
Functional is 100% the reason we have rules. There's no point in having rules that aren't functional. That's why we aren't using rules from OD&D or 1e or 2e or even 3e anymore. Many of those rules were less functional than what we have now. Again, why should mechanics be anything other than functional? Flavor and whatnot is what we have players for. I don't need five different ma... oh, sorry, powe.... oh, wait, can't call them that.... errr... let's just go with systems to make the game "interesting" when those five different systems conflict with each other and result in classes that people spend the next ten years bitching about.

Having a bunch of different systems that all do functionally the same thing is the reason that these classes have problems. Having a single system that covers all the classes means that most of the problems that people have with these classes go away.
 

Hussar

Legend
Do you have evidence that simplicity makes for a superior game experience, other than that the most popular RPG is designed that way? There are plenty of more complex TTRPGs. Are they are objectively worse than 5e?

Have and voice whatever opinion you want. What I object is your insistence that your way is objectively superior to any other way.

The following is my opinion:

Having things be different mechanically helps to make them feel different in play, which helps with immersion. It can also help with verisimilitude, which some people care about.
I'm glad you asked. Look at the iterations of nearly every RPG that has multiple editions. What do you see nearly every single time? Increased simplicity. Increased clarity. Less subsystems. Unifying mechanics. Yes, there are exceptions, but, in nearly every single case, RPG's go from baroque, overly complex design to unified, simpler mechanics over time.

So, yes, I do have considerable evidence that simplicity makes for a superior game experience. It is extremely rare for an RPG to become more complex over time.

See, that's what I mean by things like facts and evidence. You are making claims for other people without any actual evidence. YOU like mechanical difference, fair enough. But, other than a handful of people you've talked to, that's about the sum total of your evidence that increased complexity increases verisimiltude, which YOU care about. The difference is, I'm not couching my argument in an appeal to "some people". I'm actually directly pointing to the games that are out there that we can all look at. You're trying to argue that just because you like something, therefore many other people must like it and thus your opinion should carry any weight.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Potato potahto. It's mechanically bad right? Spells cost too much right? All this would be solved if it slotted into the standard half caster progression.


Functional is 100% the reason we have rules. There's no point in having rules that aren't functional. That's why we aren't using rules from OD&D or 1e or 2e or even 3e anymore. Many of those rules were less functional than what we have now. Again, why should mechanics be anything other than functional? Flavor and whatnot is what we have players for. I don't need five different ma... oh, sorry, powe.... oh, wait, can't call them that.... errr... let's just go with systems to make the game "interesting" when those five different systems conflict with each other and result in classes that people spend the next ten years bitching about.

Having a bunch of different systems that all do functionally the same thing is the reason that these classes have problems. Having a single system that covers all the classes means that most of the problems that people have with these classes go away.
I have to ask what the next step is. Why have different classes at all? Can't we just pick from a spell list, with suggested load-outs? Hyperbole I know, but that's where this design paradigm goes.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I'm glad you asked. Look at the iterations of nearly every RPG that has multiple editions. What do you see nearly every single time? Increased simplicity. Increased clarity. Less subsystems. Unifying mechanics. Yes, there are exceptions, but, in nearly every single case, RPG's go from baroque, overly complex design to unified, simpler mechanics over time.

So, yes, I do have considerable evidence that simplicity makes for a superior game experience. It is extremely rare for an RPG to become more complex over time.
But there are many fantasy RPGs, derived from one version of D&D or another, that are currently more complex than 5e. Are they objectively worse or aren't they?
 

Potato potahto. It's mechanically bad right? Spells cost too much right? All this would be solved if it slotted into the standard half caster progression.
Yes it would. You'd then have an incredibly mechanically bland subclass that no one would bother to fix because it would inspire no one. Meanwhile the Four Elements Monk tries to use the actual monk mechanic rather than just being a bland bolt-on.
Functional is 100% the reason we have rules. There's no point in having rules that aren't functional.
No it's not. If functional were 100% the reason we had rules everyone would be playing Fudge or Unisystem; the rules to both are perfectly simple - but they really aren't terribly inspiring or evocative. (And yes I mean Fudge not Fate). People no more want rules that are just perfectly functional than they do to just eat plain white rice.

The reason we have rules is to evoke and to share our vision. And every successful ruleset has started out by inspiring people even if they were barely functional. Meanwhile the rules that start with functionality, the Fudges, the Unisystems, the GURPs of this world have not got very far. Rifts from memory comfortably outsold GURPS and I'd hardly call Rifts functional. But it was inspiring.
I'm glad you asked. Look at the iterations of nearly every RPG that has multiple editions. What do you see nearly every single time? Increased simplicity.
Nope. That has been the tendency in recent years. But especially doesn't seem to be the case in D&D. And we start with the inspiration and then polish the rules, removing the parts that get in the way, rather than starting with dry bland rules in almost all cases.
Increased clarity. Less subsystems. Unifying mechanics. Yes, there are exceptions, but, in nearly every single case, RPG's go from baroque, overly complex design to unified, simpler mechanics over time.
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What you aren't asking is why, if the trend is so heavily the way you say, all the early editions of successful RPGs were so complex that they could be simplified in the first place and the systems that started by prizing simplicity didn't make it that far.
 

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