D&D 5E Running a Planescape Campaign with Optional Proficiency Rules from the DMG?

Dumboldt

Villager
I'm tempted to run Planescape in 5E. I'm looking for simple mechanics that would tie the dice rolls to the alignments of the characters, their philosophies as well as their factions. Has anybody tried that? The simpler the better. For now, I'm thinking using the optional rules from the DMG p 264: there are no skill proficiencies, but you can add your proficiency to your ability check if it ties to your Background or your Personality Traits. This would expand to philosophy and Alignment.

For example, during a social interaction, you could add your proficiency to your Charisma roll if you make a cogent argument in line with your belief.

In addition, Hero Points could be acquired and used following a similar logic: when your character fortifies his beliefs, ascends to a higher rank in a faction, etc.

What do you think?
 

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S'mon

Legend
I'm tempted to run Planescape in 5E. I'm looking for simple mechanics that would tie the dice rolls to the alignments of the characters, their philosophies as well as their factions. Has anybody tried that? The simpler the better. For now, I'm thinking using the optional rules from the DMG p 264: there are no skill proficiencies, but you can add your proficiency to your ability check if it ties to your Background or your Personality Traits. This would expand to philosophy and Alignment.

For example, during a social interaction, you could add your proficiency to your Charisma roll if you make a cogent argument in line with your belief.

In addition, Hero Points could be acquired and used following a similar logic: when your character fortifies his beliefs, ascends to a higher rank in a faction, etc.

What do you think?
Sounds clever! Will take a bit of work to get it working right though. I'd say do an initial one-shot shakedown cruise and see how it goes in practice.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Personally i would leave ability (skill) checks as is RAW but would grant Inspirations in those situations instead.
This idea could have legs. If you're doing X in a way that meshes with your alignment you get bonus Y. In the OP's shoes I'd create a very specific list of what that applies to, possibly indexing the type of action by alignment as well as the implementation. So the evil types aren't getting bonuses on healing folk, just to pick a random example. Maybe even just a little list by class, with a couple of actions it applies to. If this idea sprawls to far over the whole action mechanics it could get pretty messy.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
You could get advantage (or a smaller flat bonus) when making a cogent argument in line with your belief.
I might be tempted to use both the Advantage rules and the inspiration rules. The latter especially since they are so badly implemented generally. Also, if advantage is in play, perhaps so too should disadvantage be. Just a thought.
 

two potential problems:
  • what is the bonus supposed to represent in a planescape context? If they are CG, and they are trying to negotiate with a LN shopkeeper, why does being extra CG give them a bonus? It would seem instead you would want to give them an XP bonus for playing their character according to alignment even if it is not the optimal thing to do.
  • you might have to be prepared for endless debates around alignment
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
It doesn't need to represent anything more specific that the ambient miasma of alignment-mattering particles. :D The idea makes sense in the PS context IMO, and I wouldn't worry too much about quantifying it. Specific lists and rules helps mitigate the argument issues. YMMV.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm tempted to run Planescape in 5E. I'm looking for simple mechanics that would tie the dice rolls to the alignments of the characters, their philosophies as well as their factions. Has anybody tried that? The simpler the better. For now, I'm thinking using the optional rules from the DMG p 264: there are no skill proficiencies, but you can add your proficiency to your ability check if it ties to your Background or your Personality Traits. This would expand to philosophy and Alignment.

For example, during a social interaction, you could add your proficiency to your Charisma roll if you make a cogent argument in line with your belief.

In addition, Hero Points could be acquired and used following a similar logic: when your character fortifies his beliefs, ascends to a higher rank in a faction, etc.

What do you think?
I would love to get a group willing to use those proficiency rules. I want to go one step further though, ignoring the bonus or the proficiency dice and just giving advantage on anything related to class, background, race, personality traits, bonds, etc. but still use the stat modifiers. You're a dwarf stonemason? Great, have advantage on stonemasonry related-checks. Done. You're a rogue? Great, have advantage on all the appropriate rogue-related checks. Done.
 

Dumboldt

Villager
You could get advantage (or a smaller flat bonus) when making a cogent argument in line with your belief.
Yes, but I thought advantage too big a bonus so proficiency seemed interesting. On the other hand Hero Points can reach impossible DCs whereas Advantage cannot, so they could create little miracles in-game that seem to fit the setting.

It doesn't need to represent anything more specific that the ambient miasma of alignment-mattering particles. :D The idea makes sense in the PS context IMO, and I wouldn't worry too much about quantifying it. Specific lists and rules helps mitigate the argument issues. YMMV.
Exactly haha, belief-midi-chlorians directly affect the planes and using proficiency feels like it puts belief on the same level as skill set, the mental and the physical, so to speak.

I agree that it can create tedious arguments, so it would need guidelines. And maybe advantage / disadvantage is the simplest way to go, I'm going to give more thought about it.
 

Surely endless IN CHARACTER debates around Alignment is the whole point of Planescape? :D
Maybe a debate about why CG or some other belief is the best makes sense in character, but not so much a debate about "what is CG even"? The latter would need to be fairly objective within the reality of the multiverse. So maybe you should have a very solid idea of what each of the alignments mean, and the players can find out by trial and error if they're doing it right, error possibly leading to landing in the wrong plane of existence
 

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