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The perfect D&D edition (according to ENWORLD)

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Recently I had two threads:

Your favorite things about the various editions that aren't rules related

and

Your favorite mechanical only things about the various editions

So, according to the those of us at ENWorld, if we were to put together the perfect edition, this is what it would look like. If I were in charge of D&D, this is how I would put together the game (note: I don't agree with all of these, but this is about representing ENWorld, not just my wants). As far as non mechanical things, it was pretty easy to ensure this new perfect edition could cover all. With mechanical things, much more difficult because what one person liked, another hated, and vice versa. So that's a bit more tricky.

Disclaimer: Feel free to make a post about how I'm wrong, an idiot, have no idea what I'm talking about, etc. I'll tip my hat and wish you a good day. This is meant to be a bit of fun. Don't take it too seriously. I am fully aware you can't please everyone, and I know a lot of people will disagree with a few things here. Shrug.

Business Plan/Vision:

* Adopt a slow release schedule, similar to 5e. Immediately release two boxed sets: a) for an introductory product, and b) a campaign setting product (where the boxed set includes a pamplet book for each of the big settings: FR, Grayhawk (Points of Light), Ravenloft, Eberron, Dark Sun, Planescape, Al Qadim, Kara Tur, and an African Setting). This setting boxed set will reach out to and utilize contributors/writers/artists from said area they are representing. I.e., people from several African countries to oversee the African setting, etc. D&D is big enough now that it has fans from every corner of the world. Embrace the diversity from the people who live there. The setting will be largely mechanics free when possible, and be mostly overviews rather than huge sourcebooks (that greater detail would be reserved for a future book (see below), but this boxed set would be released initially and give players the opportunity to play in any setting)

* Stay away from cheesecake art unless it's a sourcebook material that references that, such as a Sword&Sorcery supplement that emulates the 60s and 70s fantasy, and then have equal representation of cheesecake

* keep it diverse. 5e did a great job with this.

* Have a generous OGL and encourage fan creation (again, 5e did a great job with the DMs Guild)

* unless it's campaign setting specific, adventures and campaign books will be setting neutral. They should be able to be drag and drop into any campaign, similar to how TSR modules were back in the day. Speaking of, not all adventures will be campaign books from level 1 to 15. Also release smaller adventures similar to the modules of the 80s.

* release the PHB, DMG, and Monster Manual almost at the same time. The next book will be Tactics. Followed by the Lore sourcebook (see below for both of these).

* Have a dedicated offline capable program that has the core rules (and subsequent rules from additional future releases can be added) available for purchase. This includes a character creator and campaign organizer program.

* Keep it light hearted. Include bits of humor here and there, like the comics did in the 1e DMG, Dragonmirth in Dragon Magazine, and include both full color and b/w line art. Emphasize how the game is meant to be fun among friends first and foremost.

* To go with the above, rulings over rules. Rules lawyers are generally bad. This doesn't mean unclear or ambiguous rules, but emphasize how no rule should ever get in the way of having fun if the table agrees.

Flavor/Lore:

* In addition to the above mentioned box set, place a strong emphasis on the lore of D&D. Dedicate a sourcebook just to this topic for those who want more detail than the boxed set provides. Have robust sections not just on Ravenloft and FR, but also on the Feywild and Shadowfell. Place an emphasis on how the book is a toolbox, where players can use setting material they choose, rather than feel like they have to incorporate all settings into their game world.

* Spend the time to create quality fluff and lore before every class/race entry, and every monster entry.

* Have robust rules in the DMG for world creation for homebrew campaigns. Encourage this

Mechanics:

* balance vs. niche protection: Each class will be specialized and fit a role at core. A fighter does things completely different than a wizard, and at times the fighter will outshine the wizard, and other times the wizard outshines the rogue, etc. However, over the course of a typical adventure, each class will have an opportunity to shine and be balanced with the other classes. D&D has always been a team sport. Every encounter doesn't have to be balanced, but you shouldn't have to wait levels to balance things out either (like magic users in 1e).

* class list: in addition to the core classes we all know (pretty much all the ones in the 5e PHB), also include a warlord and mystic class as core. Some changes to how classes have been done include:
--ranger: core ranger class is magic free. No spells. Instead has abilities that give them superhuman abilities at tracking, hunting, survival, etc. The quintessential mountain man. Ranger subclasses include: protector (the ranger we are most familiar with; Aragorn, spells, etc), and Beast Master (instead of spells, has many optional choices to choose in how to empower your pet)
--sorcerer: solely uses a spell point system instead of spell slot system. Instead of subclasses, they have specialties which essentially are subclass lite. But there will be many of them to cover many archetypes. Similar to 5e wizard schools.
--wizards and clerics have specialized schools.

*Combat: Core rules will be light, where you can play on a grid, or TotM. Similar to how 5e is. However, one of the first sourcebooks to be released as mentioned above will be the Tactics book. This much more closely emulates the tactical combat of 4e. Grid specific, with additional rules for flanking, positioning, chaining, etc. Introduces something similar to the bloodied mechanic. Also introduces ability score damage options, and additional "powers" for martial PCs.

* Bounded Accuracy: a good thing. It stays

* advantage/disadvantage: also a good thing. Quick way to handle changes without needing additional modifiers to count up.

* rules built around no dependency on, or expectation of, magic items.

* minions. They come back.

*feats/backgrounds: feats like they are in 5e, but make background a little more impactful other than just a couple skills.

* multi-classing: similar to how 5e does it, but remove stat dependency

* monsters not built as classes, but as separate templates. This allows customization to be much easier

* lethality: attacks like the gaze of a medusa and basilisks carry more punch than in 5e. Poisons are more dangerous. Make the game more lethal (but not on AD&D levels) Monsters seem a bit of a pushover in 5e
 

Gradine

Archivist
I always got the sense that the Perfect D&D Edition (According to ENWorld) was essentially:
*5e Mechanics
*4e Lore
*Modules from the 80's
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
Remove the bits about minions and multiclassing and I'd be on board.

Multiclassing should be *much* more difficult (I've not been a fan of it since 3E), and I dislike minions intensely.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
The nice thing about the whole setup you've presented (which is well done, BTW) is that rules wise it's basically a 5.5, it just has a different publishing strategy.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
The nice thing about the whole setup you've presented (which is well done, BTW) is that rules wise it's basically a 5.5, it just has a different publishing strategy.


With the...ahem...promised 4e tactical rules

But yes, 5e really did a great job in a lot of areas, turns out. Add the lore and tactics books, and a PHB2 with warlord and mystic, and you pretty much have what I posted above.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
Perfect edition according to ENWorld... pass. Remember, we're not the average gamer, but instead we represent the extremists of the hobby. I think 5E is the closest version of a "perfect" edition you're going to find that is actually marketable.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Disclaimer: Feel free to make a post about how I'm wrong, an idiot, have no idea what I'm talking about, etc.
Your wrong, and an idiot, and have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not sure what those refer to, since this is a masterful compilation of those threads into a game I'd like. But I'm sure they're true somewhere. :D

This though, I'd play.
 
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TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
With the...ahem...promised 4e tactical rules

But yes, 5e really did a great job in a lot of areas, turns out. Add the lore and tactics books, and a PHB2 with warlord and mystic, and you pretty much have what I posted above.
The lore book might be a bit of a reach, since the books that are half lore and half crunch (like Volo's and Mordenkainen's) seem to do pretty well. But a Xanathar's 2 (let's call it "Warduke's Guide to Killin' Stuff") with the alternate class features they've been hinting at, psionic rules, and a section with more detailed combat rules including a warlord class, and you're most of the way there.
 

oreofox

Explorer
Not a fan of a spell-less ranger, but other than that... eh. I would keep the stat requirements for multiclassing.

Personally, I would mix AD&D and 5e + minions. So this, as presented, isn't exactly the perfect edition for me. Glad many other posters so far seem to like it, though.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I couldn’t create this, because I don’t have the 4e experience to capture the mechanical feel, and know nothing about the cosmology of 4e.

However, I am confident I could create the worst edition of DnD, according to ENWorld:

Chain mail bikinis
Go back to THAC0
Grid based only with tons of stackable conditions
Who needs lore when you have minis
No rule can be deviated from
Monsters are just stat blocks
Individual XP progression based on class
Magic item trees for everyone!
Only non magical healing, and lots of it. Mostly though shouting.
The only classes would be bard, paladin, fighting man with emphasis on the man, clerics who can’t use most weapons, and magic users with 1d4 hp and suck until level 9, when you then give them the DM guide and just let them do whatever they want.
Gender based stat adjustments.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
No interest in that ranger, and I prefer all books full of lore rather than a lore core book, but I’m fine with the rest of it.

But yeah, I’d rather play a straight phb ranger than that.
 

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