D&D 5E The Quest to Reduce "Sameyness" (+)

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
This thread is going to the heart of something that really irks the Libra in me---too much sameyness between classes (not concerned about sameyness within classes--which I don't feel is there, but that is a different topic). There is too much overlap, to the point at one point we consolidated classes. Now, in an effort to restore the core 12 classes (sorry, folks, no Artificers here... ;) ), I am going to tackle some issues. You can contribute or not, this is also a place for me to just throw around ideas and see what sticks. Cheers.

SAVING THROWS:

Currently, if you look at the combinations of Strong/Weak saves, 2 of the 9 aren't being used at all. Now, that might not seem bad, but when you consider that Cleric, Paladin, and Warlock are all proficient in Wisdom and Charisma saves, it seems a bit too samey for me.

For those who might not be aware of the distinction, strong saves are DEX, CON, and WIS because they are the most common saves in 5E. Leaving STR, INT, and CHA was "weak" saves because they are less common.

RAW Saves:
  • Barbarian and Fighter are CON, STR
  • Sorcerer is CON, CHA
  • Monk and Ranger are STR, DEX
  • Rogue is DEX, INT
  • Bard is DEX, CHA
  • Druid and Wizard are WIS, INT
  • Cleric, Paladin, and Warlock are WIS, CHA
and, leaving the unused combinations:
  • CON, INT is never used
  • STR, WIS is never used

Only three classes (Sorcerer, Rogue, and Bard) out of 12 have unique save combinations! Ugh! :mad:

So, like most of 5E, it is time for a tweak. :)

Revised Saves:
  • Barbarians: STR, CON
  • Bards: DEX, CHA
  • Clerics: STR, WIS (replace CHA with STR)
  • Druid: CON, WIS (replace INT with CON)
  • Fighter: STR, DEX (replace CON with DEX)
  • Monk: DEX, WIS (replace STR with DEX)
  • Paladin: WIS, CHA
  • Ranger: DEX, CON (replace STR with CON)
  • Rogue: DEX, INT
  • Sorcerer: CON, INT (replaces CHA with INT)
  • Warlock: CON, CHA (replaces WIS with CON)
  • Wizard: WIS, INT

Now, every class has a unique save combination.

Some Notes:
1. Sorcerers are CON-based casters in our game, not CHA. Too many CHA-based casters IMO, another "samey" issue. So, that is why I felt it was fine to remove CHA from them.

2. You'll notice Druids, Monks, and Rangers are all only strong saves. This is intentional as IMO Druids and Rangers are two of the less appealing classes due to their design in 5E. Monks eventually get all saves with Diamond Soul, so starting them with two strong saves didn't seem a stretch.

That's it for now.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The way to reduce sameyness is simple, but will annoy those players who want their characters to be able to "do it all":

Hard-coded and heavily-protected niches for each class. Get rid of feats and spells and sub-class combos that allow one class to do the job of another. Maybe get rid of a few classes as well, if there's not enough significant niches to go around. Maybe where possible give each class kind of a sub-niche as well; an example might be Rangers are the best at outdoorsy stuff, then Druids are half as good, and everyone else is poor at it but not hopeless (in mechanical terms, odds of success at outdoors-activity-X might be 90%, 50% and 10% for those three categories).

End result: each character is really good at its niche and not very good at most other things, meaning you ideally need a group of characters (i.e. a party) covering off for each others' weaknesses in order to be more successful at adventuring. Yes this might need bigger parties in order to cover all the bases.

Changing up something as basic as saving throws might reduce the sameyness from the DM side but from the players' side it won't change a thing - you still need to roll the die and hit the target number.
 

Not a small undertaking but redoing the spell lists would help reduce sameyness with casters. Either that or each class/subclass of caster has an additional limiter to their spell choices. Using the wizard as an example you could have a new rule that says each wizard must choose a school of magic. Spells of the chosen school in the spellbook are always considered prepared (like domain spells for clerics). Wizards can then prepare Int Mod number of spells from other schools each day. So wizards can still be utility knives with some preparation but when you make a necromancer you can expect to be casting a lot of necromancy spells.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Not a small undertaking but redoing the spell lists would help reduce sameyness with casters.
Since this was mentioned, and it is already done, I'll post it.

SPELLLISTS:

Notes:

1. Many people will be upset that certain spells were lost to one class or another--tough, deal with it. ;)
2. Bards are half-casters in our game and the spell lists below reflect that (don't like it, deal with it).
3. Ignore the Jinxes category (a house-rule system we use)--they are just the combat cantrips and can be moved under cantrips.
4. Finally, this list is what we use, so please don't bother complaining about "Oh, how could you do this!?" or "What!? I think spell X should be here, not there!" and thanks. :)

Background: Something like 60-70% of spells are capable of being cast by more than one class.
This list reduces that to about 42% or so. Also, all 6th+ level spells are unique.
All classes have fewer spells as a result of less overlap.
Since I don't have all sourcebooks, not all spells are included.
  • Bards: 132 to 64 (also because half-caster now)
  • Clerics: 113 to 98
  • Druids: 150 to 98
  • Paladins: 57 to 55
  • Rangers: 73 to 55
  • Sorcerers: 188 to 94
  • Warlocks: 114 to 94
  • Wizards: 296 to 152

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ECMO3

Hero
The way to reduce sameyness is simple, but will annoy those players who want their characters to be able to "do it all":

Hard-coded and heavily-protected niches for each class. Get rid of feats and spells and sub-class combos that allow one class to do the job of another. Maybe get rid of a few classes as well, if there's not enough significant niches to go around. Maybe where possible give each class kind of a sub-niche as well; an example might be Rangers are the best at outdoorsy stuff, then Druids are half as good, and everyone else is poor at it but not hopeless (in mechanical terms, odds of success at outdoors-activity-X might be 90%, 50% and 10% for those three categories).

End result: each character is really good at its niche and not very good at most other things, meaning you ideally need a group of characters (i.e. a party) covering off for each others' weaknesses in order to be more successful at adventuring. Yes this might need bigger parties in order to cover all the bases.

Changing up something as basic as saving throws might reduce the sameyness from the DM side but from the players' side it won't change a thing - you still need to roll the die and hit the target number.
I think we need a definition of "sameyness".

IMO every character having a niche IS "sameyness" because every fighter is the same, every Monk is the same, every Rogue is the same.

I played a Ranger with multiple casting feats who fought more like a battlefield control caster than a martial. He was as mobile as a Rogue and was better at the social skills than a Bard. This is what made him different and prevents the "sameyness". Taking away those feats and subclass abilities would have made him "the same ole Ranger" or he would have been very poor and statistically inferior as a character playing "differently".

IMO the answer to this is more options for customization, not less.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
2. You'll notice Druids, Monks, and Rangers are all only strong saves. This is intentional as IMO Druids and Rangers are two of the less appealing classes due to their design in 5E. Monks eventually get all saves with Diamond Soul, so starting them with two strong saves didn't seem a stretch.

We see plenty of Rangers in tables I play and they are pretty powerful with the Tasha's editions. Considering all 3 phases they are probably the most powerful class in the game with only the Rogue really being competitive. We also see a fair amount of Monks even though they are by most accounts one of the weaker classes.

The only one of these three my tables don't seem to find appealing is Druids.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
How’s that been working out?
Fantastic. A point, however, is you probably want to un-link HP from CON, otherwise Sorcerers benefit in two ways for one ability. Given the abstract nature of HP, linking it to CON is a carry over from prior editions that needs to go IMO.
 

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