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


Black Hack's approach to fighter maneuvers is a nice one – at least I think it's Black Hack... I have a lot of systems spinning about my brain atm. Basically, you propose "instead of taking these 14 hit points i would deal to you, you can instead be disarmed and one arm pinned against the tavern wall by my dagger", and then the target either decides to take the damage or accept your maneuver.

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I wonder what D&D would be like using popcorn initiative?

I'll let you know, I have been planning to implement it. As it is, for my online groups, I've gone to side initiative: all the PCs go, in any order they choose, then all the NPCs go. I find playing online with a larger group, having a non-static initiative order helps keep everyone more attentive and engaged.

I've been a fan of popcorn initiative when I've seen it in other systems, so I intend to try it in the next campaign I run.


By the way, this is the German game system I came across. The rulers are extremely elegant, and make the picking of a class unnecessary. Every character can use any skill, as long as they use it a lot to get better in it.

You can tell by just how thin the book is, that there are barely any rules there. Unfortunately there is no English version as of yet, which sucks because my German is terrible.

As I understand it though, it takes place in a dystopian scifi setting, described by the creators as cargo-punk. The players are people of all kinds of weird alien races, transporting cargo, while under the supervision of an all seeing AI called Mother. The various races all have very neat lore. For example, there's an insectoid race that is trying to escape their oppressive hive-society.

I think it's made by just two people in their spare time, so this is very much a labor of love, and not some billion book franchise. Still, I hope for more books and an English version.

Oh, and the art inside is top notch. As good as the cover art.
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For example, instead of just gaining an AC bonus from a shield, you have to spend an action to raise your shield every turn.
It's one of my least favorite things about Pathfinder 2E. I'd just house rule it so that way the AC bonus from the shield always apply.


Follower of the Way
Sharing as asked by @dave2008

Logan Bonner's adventure in Dungeon #200, Blood Money, was a heist.

In order to make the heist be possible in D&D, and not just turn into combat the first time someone failed a roll or two (which happens all the time with D&D's high RNG, binary pass/fail and low threshold for rolling), Bonner added a mechanic, the name of which escapes me, but which I'll call "Preparation points".

Basically, the better you prepared for the heist (scouting, talking to people, gathering equipment, planning, infiltrating beforehand and so on), which included stuff the DM had pre-listed, but also stuff the DM judged as smart, the more "Preparation points" you got. Once the heist started, you could then spend those preparation points to negate/re-roll fluffed rolls, or to assert minor but potentially important bits of fiction, like "I stashed a crowbar here" or "I remembered to bring an extra 100' of rope" even though they weren't previously the case (so long as they were potentially possible and reasonable).

This worked extremely well to make the heist actually functional, and to not devolve into combat early on because someone missed a check. I'd be great to see D&D pick up a similar mechanic where appropriate.
I would love to see this integrated into the Skill Challenge framework (or included as an optional "mode" or the like for skill challenges.) Because that sounds like a wonderful way to give weight and strategic depth to a type of SC that might otherwise be hard to implement.


I would have liked to see a scaled back version of 5 torches deep supply system. It seem great for reducing long micromanaging shopping sessions that I dont think fits 5eds overall style very much. For instance have a number of "supply points" equal to your int modifier that you can use to retroactively make a "shopping trip" when out of combat. (Replenished when visiting a major population center)

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