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

The Sanity/Madness system from Unknown Armies.

Somethings like the transhumanism technology (mind upload and digital inmortality) from Eclipse Phase RPG, at least in other sci-fi franchises.

The Awakenen Magic from "Mage: the Ascension" and the fae arts from "Changeling: the Dreaming".

The art of "name + verb" from "Ars Magica".

The Runic Magic from Warhammer RPG.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
I think I am old fashioned when it comes to D&D. I like new games and innovative mechanics but I think D&D works well when it focuses on what it does best abd when it isn’t chasing other games (I recall moments in its history where it made changes to appeal to fans of other games and I think most of those changes muddied what worked about it)
Advantage/Disadvantage was once an innovative mechanic. D&D somehow survived its inclusion. It really depends on the mechanic and the stress points. Not every innovative mechanic destroys the fabric of D&D. The Usage Die popularized by Black Hack would probably fit in fine in D&D. Or things like Cypher System's Recovery Roll mechanic.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Escalation die applies just to PCs.

Except when it doesn't. For instance, Dragons get to add the Escalation die as well.

But in general monsters start at a math advantage, and the Escalation die adds to the players to offset and then flip that the other way.
Correct. The Escalation Die exists as an elegant solution to the dominance of the "alpha strike." If you blow your biggest guns right away, you're at much greater risk of failing to connect, but if you do you'll take out more things early. If you wait, you have allowed the enemy to do more damage and survive more rounds, but you're noticeably more likely to succeed. Even after only three rounds (so the start of the fourth round), +3 to all rolls is a powerful thing, turning 50/50 odds into 65/35 odds (or, if you prefer, "every other attack fails" bumped up to "two out of three attacks succeeds.")

And the fact that dragons also get the Escalation Die makes them really scary, because now you DON'T have a force pushing toward victory, you have a force that pushes toward greater and greater danger for everyone involved. It situates dragons as a top-tier threat even if they aren't ancient wyrms, making their use and appearance appropriately weighty.

I like GM Intrusions from Numenera.
Oh God no, anything but that. "Mess with the players and punish them if they refuse" is in that rare breed of mechanics where it's actually worse than critical fumble rules.

If you enjoy them, more power to you, but they're a horrible idea that actively invites DMs to be disruptive and divisive. That's the last thing we need in D&D.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
That is probably true; however, IIRC PF2 still has reactions (and maybe free actions too). That is one of my issues with it from a design viewpoint - I want reactions to integrated into the action economy. So four actions, not three. Maybe you avoid the iterative penalty if you use one as a reaction?
I think there was intent to go in that direction. Shield raising and spell cantrips and so forth. I'm still not an expert on PF2 at this point, but seen a pally in play make good use of reactions. So, technically in a turn you do have 4 actions, unless you are saying you want your reaction to be prepared during the turn?
 

dave2008

Legend
I think there was intent to go in that direction. Shield raising and spell cantrips and so forth. I'm still not an expert on PF2 at this point, but seen a pally in play make good use of reactions. So, technically in a turn you do have 4 actions, unless you are saying you want your reaction to be prepared during the turn?
What I am saying is that I want reactions to a part of the action economy, not an add on. Right now you get a reaction for free, it is not a part of the 3 action system. Instead I want you to have a total of 4 actions, including reactions.

So you could make 4 sword attacks, but the penalty on the 4th on is real steep. However, if you use one as reaction - no penalty.
 

How do those mechanics work? That sounds cool.
It's a d100 system (actually 00-99) where you have to roll under to succeed. So typical attack roll might be marksman skill + agility ability (45+25=60 target). Any doubles are a crit, success or failure. So in my example, 00, 11, 22, 33, 44, 55 would be a crit success, and 66, 77, 88, 99 would be crit fails.
So, their is always a 10% chance of a crit, but whether that is a crit success or fail slides with the target.
 


payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
What I am saying is that I want reactions to a part of the action economy, not an add on. Right now you get a reaction for free, it is not a part of the 3 action system. Instead I want you to have a total of 4 actions, including reactions.

So you could make 4 sword attacks, but the penalty on the 4th on is real steep. However, if you use one as reaction - no penalty.
Oh, I dont see any benefit in that. I'd have to see a write up and think it would have massive implications across all the classes and abilities. Doable, but I dont think an improvement. Tho, I cant knock it in anything but theory until I rock it.
 

Advantage/Disadvantage was once an innovative mechanic. D&D somehow survived its inclusion. It really depends on the mechanic and the stress points. Not every innovative mechanic destroys the fabric of D&D. The Usage Die popularized by Black Hack would probably fit in fine in D&D. Or things like Cypher System's Recovery Roll mechanic.
I didn't have Advantage/Disadvantage in mind, I had more things like skills and feats (which I think strongly change the feel of the game). I'm not saying there haven't been new mechanics I thought fit (I don't play 5E enough to comment on whether Advantage/Disadvantage would fit for me). To be clear I realize my opinion is outlier and I am not saying D&D would be wise to go back to a pre-skill pre-feat approach. But for me, D&D works better when it sticks to the core elements.
 

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