D&D General What do you NOT want systems for?


Victoria Rules
No to "social combat" or social interaction rules, with very rare exceptions.

No to rules that don't pass the common-sense smell test (falling damage, front and center please; ban on magic item buying-selling, you too).

No to rules that tell me how to play my character with no good in-fiction support (e.g. being made to play a Cleric to its alignment is fine as in the fiction that's how the Cleric would be expected to act, but being made to play a Good or heroic character "just because" is a no-go).

No to rules that add complexity seemingly for the sake of adding complexity (1e initiative, step forward), and even more so if there's a clearly simpler way to achieve the same thing. That said, if a complex rule has a purpose and no simpler method has yet suggested itself (e.g. encumbrance) then I'm generally fine with it.

No to overly-tight or overly-unified systems that can't be kitbashed.


Yes to random tables. Yes to pregnancy and childbirth rules. Yes to lingering injury or wound rules. Yes to discrete modular subsystems. And above all yes to rules that ground the game in some form of reality, and thus make it relatable to us puny humans. :)

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Wow. That is crazy pants to me (no offense intended). I ADORE random tables because it is too easy to.fall into habits and since I improv a lot I appreciate things that take me out of my preferred tropes etc.
I knew it would blow a few minds! No, I improv too - I just don't roll on tables. I don't find myself falling into ruts much, but to avoid the sort of thing you're talking about, I do have a Yes/No/Sort-of die that I ask questions of when I need randomization because I don't know or don't care what the answer to a given question is. It's essentially 1d10: 1-2) Absolutely Not (& nothing similar); 3-4) No; 5) Not quite; 6) Pretty much; 7-8) Yes; 9-0) Even more than you think.

I've used it to build entire cities just by asking the first questions that come to mind.

But, to be clear: When I say that I don't need them, I sure as heck don't think that the game shouldn't come with tables. I am aware that other people like them, and I (for one) think that D&D should have things that are for players other than me. I see a lot of the opposite around here sometimes, and it always makes me sad.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Yeah, I've gone on a whole journey with random tables myself. I am 99% with @FitzTheRuke in my DMing style, but I've come to enjoy having them on hand for when I just don't want to waste the computing cycles on what the name of the halfling tavernkeeper is or what's on the tavern menu. I save the brain power for the stuff that "matters."

I largely lean on the Roll & Play GM's Fantasy Toolkit (spiral bound and liquid-resistant -- made for use at the table!) and the many tables in Shadowdark.


I don't want rules that erase differences between the character classes and abilities for the sake of simplifying or unifying "how things work". The real world, and the simulated world are complex, and complexity keeps things interesting.

I don't want rules that place an arbitrary gate or prerequisite in front of player creativity while interacting with the nonmagical world. For example, if a certain feat says that you can disguise your appearance and voice reliably, it implies that players who don't have that feat cannot attempt this. (The worst offender of this principle was the 2E non-weapon proficiency system)

I don't want rules about campaign tone, difficulty, or deadliness that are "baked in" to the system. There is so much variety between campaigns that these should be Dials in the core rules, not an assumption that propagates into other rules and subsystems. For example, are offensive spells balanced assuming that their effects are easy to shrug off after a round or two? Are healing spells balanced assuming that a short rest restores all hit points?

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Hot take: I'd go without Stealth rules.

Just go with something like:
  • Half-cover/Lightly Obscured = DC 10 perception
  • 3/4 cover = DC 15 perception
  • Full cover/Heavy Obscured/Invisible = Impossible

Rolls to spot Rogues are made with Disadvantage, rolls to spot heavy-armored PC are made with Advantage.

There's not a lot I never want to see, but in most games:
  • I don't want complex rules for social combat - I have yet to see a version that does not cause social interaction to feel tedious and anemic. An extended/dramatic test mechanic is fine, but that's about the maximum I'm willing to tolerate/use.
  • I don't want a plethora of talents, especially combat-related ones, that bring their own rules or modify existing ones. Now this is a bit tricky since in limited quantities, I'm fine with them. But e.g. the Forbidden Lands' three level talent system is already stretching it a bit.
  • I don't want mechanics to bring back people from the dead. At least not in the D&D resurrection way. Means of stabilizing someone who is in the process of dying is fine, so is a last, desperate saving throw be snatched from the jaws of death, but once the character flatlines, that should be it. If anything, the game may give suggestions like bringing them back from the underworld or making a devil's bargain to return to life for a while.
Beyond that, what I will accept or not accept depends a bit on the game. E.g. in D&D, which is basically the epitome of trad gaming for me, I'm not eager to see a lot of narrative mechanics that are perfectly fine for me in other, less traditional games.
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