D&D General Ready for playtest: a "5E-lite" retroclone

TiQuinn

Registered User
OSR ppl claim it's nothing like OSR, which makes it 5E. 5E ppl claim it's nothing like 5E, which makes it OSR.

I may have messed up.
Ya know, that's just a label that people try to put on things to give context. If you think it's a better ruleset that accomplishes something better than one of the existing rule sets, you don't have to worry about it IMO.
 

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Ya know, that's just a label that people try to put on things to give context. If you think it's a better ruleset that accomplishes something better than one of the existing rule sets, you don't have to worry about it IMO.
I thought it did, but I think I'm invoking too much "you changed it now I hate it".
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
I thought it did, but I think I'm invoking too much "you changed it now I hate it".
I don't hate the changes - to me these are homebrew rules, and they may work great for you. You may have been dealing with a particular issue that you wanted to get around, or go for a certain vibe using 5e as a starting point. I think that's the way that I would evaluate what you're doing. Some of the 5e/OSR systems are trying to take the same rules and restate them with just a few rough patches shaved off. Others are whole cloth new systems that want to emulate or recreate something that's missing - the way ShadowDark uses the real-time torch mechanic to create a sense of fear and a danger while exploring dungeons.

So my criticisms (and really anyone's, no matter how negative) should be taken in that vein. There's always going to be someone who bounces off whatever you make, and there's always going to people who hate the idea of another person putting a clone out into existence. My two cents though is that you had a reason to do this work - you have to communicate that and why you think other people may want to consider it.
 

I'll try, but a certain lack of confidence is holding me back:

- I started by noticing that 5E had too many subsystems with overlapping structure and capability - for example, "Saving Throw Proficiencies" and "Skill Proficiencies"; "Tool/Weapon/Language Proficiencies", and so on.

- Then I got mad that whenever I tried to talk about how basic system design could be improved in "homebrew" Discord channels, no one cared, and all ppl really wanted to talk about was 5E build-optimization.

- I realized how much I hate build-optimization as a metagame, and how much it's ruined almost every table I've tried to play at.

- So I decided to create a system where character creation was too straightforward to do build-optimization.

- I noticed that this involved removing level-up decisions altogether, which felt sad and boring, so I brought back "skill points".

- I noticed that "bounded accuracy" + "proficiency die" + "skill points" led to a REALLY INTERESTING design opportunity

- so I linked class power dice to proficiency dice, bringing back a little bit of build-optimization, but completely different than modern 3E/4E/5E style optimization.

- this intrigued me, so I decided to see what else I could simplify down to "fewer systems".

- I noticed that 5E emphasized combat so much that exploration was basically just a breeze-through-to-the-encounter thing now, so I started looking at OSR-style exploration, and how various other OSR-clones did it.

- This brought me to Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which felt brilliant in its skill system - so I decided to adapt it whole-cloth, modifying it only by integrating it into my proficiency-die-skill-point system.

- once I'd done all that, I noticed that I had what felt like a complete game, so I fleshed it out with some meta-setting stuff (like "flavorful" purely vancian casting), and called it a day.

- and here we are!
 


You certainly haven't messed up, but you do seem to be taking aspects from different designs and trying to piece them all together. Because there are various elements from various designs, I think people get more confused at just what you are trying to do.
Fourth time trying to reply:

- I've noticed that all editions, including forks like PF, do this "throw out the good with the bad" game in order to try to wash the taste of earlier editions out of players' mouths.

- This means there are a ton of superior mechanics that no one will touch bc "that's not how we do things now".

- I'm trying to actually create a single clean system that handles stuff in a coherent way.

- apparently there is so much baggage in the D&D community, that "coherent" isn't even a thing anymore.
 

ezo

Where is that Singe?
Fourth time trying to reply:

- I've noticed that all editions, including forks like PF, do this "throw out the good with the bad" game in order to try to wash the taste of earlier editions out of players' mouths.

- This means there are a ton of superior mechanics that no one will touch bc "that's not how we do things now".

- I'm trying to actually create a single clean system that handles stuff in a coherent way.

- apparently there is so much baggage in the D&D community, that "coherent" isn't even a thing anymore.
Here's the thing: this is a D&D community. You posted here because others told you your game was "5E-lite", and myself and others are explaining it really isn't. I don't know who told you it was...

I don't think you can try to take the "best from here and there", toss it together, and try to make something "coherent". But the other issue is no one agrees which things are the best. You say there are "superior mechanics", but that is completely subjective.

For example, I am a fan of using a Wound system of some sort, as you do, but I know the vast majority of D&D players don't--it adds an extra level of complexity, even if it is a defining way. Which is one of the reasons why your claim this was 5E-lite had me interested---I want a 5E-lite, which was what my friends and I were doing, but of course our game has grown into a life of its own, which seems like yours did.

Now, I read your other posts. I get what you are trying to do--I'm just not certain making a piecemeal game leads to goo design in general.

Finally, I am very serious about game design and I know our other DM who used to post here on EnWorld is even more into it than I am, so you can expect criticism if that is what you asked for, but you aren't going to just get a bunch of fluff and hype to make you feel good about what you've made. I think a lot of it has merit, but I know it wasn't what I expected nor what I am personally looking for in a new game.

So, I hope you understand I am taking my free time to reply, hoping it will help or perhaps give you some perspective. Most people here will help. I know it is difficult to not become defensive about your own creation, but understand you put it out here for criticism and suggestions, and that is what you are getting (from myself, anyway.... I haven't had time to read the other posts).
 


Here's the thing: this is a D&D community. You posted here because others told you your game was "5E-lite", and myself and others are explaining it really isn't. I don't know who told you it was...

I don't think you can try to take the "best from here and there", toss it together, and try to make something "coherent". But the other issue is no one agrees which things are the best. You say there are "superior mechanics", but that is completely subjective.

For example, I am a fan of using a Wound system of some sort, as you do, but I know the vast majority of D&D players don't--it adds an extra level of complexity, even if it is a defining way. Which is one of the reasons why your claim this was 5E-lite had me interested---I want a 5E-lite, which was what my friends and I were doing, but of course our game has grown into a life of its own, which seems like yours did.

Now, I read your other posts. I get what you are trying to do--I'm just not certain making a piecemeal game leads to goo design in general.

Finally, I am very serious about game design and I know our other DM who used to post here on EnWorld is even more into it than I am, so you can expect criticism if that is what you asked for, but you aren't going to just get a bunch of fluff and hype to make you feel good about what you've made. I think a lot of it has merit, but I know it wasn't what I expected nor what I am personally looking for in a new game.

So, I hope you understand I am taking my free time to reply, hoping it will help or perhaps give you some perspective. Most people here will help. I know it is difficult to not become defensive about your own creation, but understand you put it out here for criticism and suggestions, and that is what you are getting (from myself, anyway.... I haven't had time to read the other posts).
That's all fair. But it does mean that I'm likely speaking a "different language" than you guys, AND a "different language" than the OSR guys, and I think that means there just isn't a market for my thing, and I should abandon it.
 

ezo

Where is that Singe?
That's all fair. But it does mean that I'm likely speaking a "different language" than you guys, AND a "different language" than the OSR guys, and I think that means there just isn't a market for my thing, and I should abandon it.
I don't know if I would go that far, I can tell you've put a lot of work into it! However, as for "marketing" it I think you need to find something that sets your game apart from the others.

For example, in our game, which is 5E-based, we're adding proficiency bonus to damage. Why? Because it is a simple and easy way to represent your PC (and other creatures) become more lethal. An Orc has 15 hp, but it is rare for a mid to high level PC to kill an orc with a single hit. However, if you are 10th-level, the extra +4 damage based on proficiency bouns helps a lot. Instead of doing 1d8+6 (say dueling style with +4 STR), which only average 10.5 and barring a critical, cannot kill and orc, you are doing 1d8+10, which averages 14.5 so has about a 50/50 change of taking the orc down.

We did this because a number of new players to 5E kept wanting to add proficiency bonus to damage rolls as well as attack rolls.
 

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