D&D General What are the coolest/most innovative mechanics D&D could take from other games?

Haplo781

Legend
Personally, I consider Shadow of the Demon Lord's Boons and Banes to be a better take on advantage/disadvantage. Blades in the Dark's clocks are an elegant evolution of the skill challenge mechanic (which I can't understand why 5e dropped after years of iteration and improvement), and 4e making all spells use attack rolls while saving throws were specifically to end ongoing effects was brilliant.

What about you?
 

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SakanaSensei

Adventurer
One of my core issues with DnD, a game where the rules mostly revolve around fighting stuff, is that combat gets more and more boring as rounds go on. I posit this is because of the always available nature of the abilities players and monsters have at their disposal. If you are a Battlemaster fighter, you're probably using your maneuvers early. If you're a spellcaster, you're casting your best spell early.

You start off with the cool stuff and things just get less interesting from there.

There are probably lots of ways to handle this, but one that sticks out to me is the Resolve resource from ICON by Massif Press. Each round your party gets a point of Resolve, and Resolve can be spent on Limit Breaks, incredibly powerful abilities that can turn a whole fight around on its head. MCDM's new game they are making seems to be kind of toying with an idea of building up a resource early in the fight to then have something explosive later on, although for their game I think there's a good chance that they end up with individual resources based on your class rather than a shared pool.
 


I like Frontier Space's scaling crit system. i.e. the higher your chance to hit, the more like a crit success and lower crit failure rate.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Personally, I consider Shadow of the Demon Lord's Boons and Banes to be a better take on advantage/disadvantage.
Haven't played it, what are Boons and Banes? Adv/Dis is fairly elegant because of how quick and easy it is, how it doesn't make things possible/impossible that weren't before, and how it ends up changing based on if you were likely, balanced, or unlikely to make the roll in the first place. So I'm really excited by a better take on that much goodness.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
One of my core issues with DnD, a game where the rules mostly revolve around fighting stuff, is that combat gets more and more boring as rounds go on. I posit this is because of the always available nature of the abilities players and monsters have at their disposal. If you are a Battlemaster fighter, you're probably using your maneuvers early. If you're a spellcaster, you're casting your best spell early.

You start off with the cool stuff and things just get less interesting from there.
I like the Resolve system you talked about, just wanted to mention another one. 13th Age (a d20) has the Escalation Die. Basically it's a d6 that at the end of the first round of comabt gets set to a 1, and then increments up from there to a 6. It adds to player attacks (and like 4e you make an attack against a save, so in current D&D it would also affect DCs). But the most interesting point is tghat monster math starts uneven, with characters at a disadvantage until it gets up to +2-3. So if you start with your big novas you have a lot greater chance of missing.

It also wraps up grinds quickly, because when it's a forgone conclusion the PCs have big bonuses and can just wipe up.
 


dave2008

Legend
I like the Resolve system you talked about, just wanted to mention another one. 13th Age (a d20) has the Escalation Die. Basically it's a d6 that at the end of the first round of comabt gets set to a 1, and then increments up from there to a 6. It adds to player attacks (and like 4e you make an attack against a save, so in current D&D it would also affect DCs). But the most interesting point is tghat monster math starts uneven, with characters at a disadvantage until it gets up to +2-3. So if you start with your big novas you have a lot greater chance of missing.

It also wraps up grinds quickly, because when it's a forgone conclusion the PCs have big bonuses and can just wipe up.
I've forgotten, does the escalation die apply to both PCs and monsters or just PCs?
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Don't Rest Your Head is an RPG taking place in a dream. You assemble a dice pool from various parts, with each part having a different color. Besides your normal success/failure, there are consequences to whatever die is the highest (with I believe the player picking highest among ties). Like the consequence of Exhaustion is that you get another Exhaustion die - making you even better at everything. Except that if you reach a limit, you fall asleep in the dream and that's effectively removing your character from play.

Similarly, I seem to recall that one of the Warhammer-like games had adding dice to a pool and totaling them, but since magic was fraught with peril any doubles (or more) would attract chaos and bad stuff. You could voluntarily use less dice, but then you were less likely to succeed.

Ideas like this, where more effort can cause problems, I think could be used. Even if it's just for stress/exhausion mechanic where you can push yourself to add more dice.
 

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