• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General What elements does D&D need to keep?

Which of the following elements should D&D keep in future editions?

  • Using multiple types of dice

    Votes: 110 84.6%
  • Ability scores (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha)

    Votes: 115 88.5%
  • Distinct character races/lineages

    Votes: 97 74.6%
  • Distinct character classes

    Votes: 124 95.4%
  • Alignment

    Votes: 45 34.6%
  • Backgrounds

    Votes: 49 37.7%
  • Multiclassing

    Votes: 59 45.4%
  • Feats

    Votes: 55 42.3%
  • Proficiencies

    Votes: 59 45.4%
  • Levels

    Votes: 121 93.1%
  • Experience points

    Votes: 56 43.1%
  • Hit points

    Votes: 113 86.9%
  • Hit dice

    Votes: 52 40.0%
  • Armor Class

    Votes: 104 80.0%
  • Lists of specific equipment

    Votes: 59 45.4%
  • Saving throws

    Votes: 100 76.9%
  • Surprise

    Votes: 40 30.8%
  • Initiative

    Votes: 87 66.9%
  • Damage types

    Votes: 63 48.5%
  • Lists of specific spells

    Votes: 91 70.0%
  • Conditions

    Votes: 57 43.8%
  • Deities

    Votes: 39 30.0%
  • Great Wheel cosmology

    Votes: 26 20.0%
  • World Axis cosmology

    Votes: 11 8.5%
  • Creature types

    Votes: 57 43.8%
  • Challenge ratings

    Votes: 26 20.0%
  • Lists of specific magic items

    Votes: 75 57.7%
  • Advantage/disadvantage

    Votes: 64 49.2%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 4 3.1%

  • Total voters
    130
  • Poll closed .

DEFCON 1

Legend
I don’t disagree, but I will point out that one thing the d20 System and its conversions of various other games did was expose those games to a wider audience. I would probably never have learned of Call of Cthulhu had it not been for the d20 conversion, and while the d20 System didn’t do the tone of CoC any favors, it did make the game more approachable to folks who were familiar with D&D but not eager to learn a new system (which at the time was me).

Also, the sample adventures in that book were awesome.
That's understandable, and I wouldn't disagree with you on that-- the audience absolutely did widen with the advent of d20. My only question into the cosmos though would be whether learning about other types of RPGs via the d20 umbrella conditioned people to think merely in class-based, leveled gaming? And did that not only cut off people from really experiencing the vastness of roleplaying games, but also perhaps disillusioned them by having some of these games not really work as d20 D&D clones?

Obviously none of us can actually answer that, and your experiences with d20 systems seemed to work out really well for you, which is great. I just can't help but wonder though how many people did in fact bounce off of playing games that weren't D&D, because many of the d20 games were just D&D in dress up and unsuccessful dress-up at that?

Now for all I know I could be completely full of horsepucky here and barking up an entirely wrong tree... but with the proliferation of people once again wanting to use D&D mechanics in new games makes me think that perhaps we didn't learn enough from history and we're doomed to repeat it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Faolyn

Hero
Races/Lineages: I think continuing to use races (or lineages, ancestries, whatever) is important, but I think that subraces can be completely done away with. These can either be replaced with Cultures or simply by letting you choose a couple of options from a larger list. All elves have Trance and Low Light Vision, and you can choose one from (A) knowing two of the weapons from this list; (B) knowing one of cantrips from this list; or (C) having special movement/stealth abilities in a natural terrain of your choice from this list.

Saving Throws: This will definitely need to remain, although the how of it is less picky. I prefer the 3x Fort/Ref/Will trio to the 5e six saves or the AD&D weird list.

Classes and Levels: These will also have to stay, although they seem to be moving to the idea of feats replacing full multiclassing. I'm OK with that. I must admit, I kind of like the idea of having fewer classes, especially when it comes to spellcasting classes--I'd like to be able to more easily have low-magic settings. I saw someone--I think it was on the fairly recent Monk thread--suggest combining Monk and Sorcerer, which I think would work well. It would be part-casting, part-fighting, and the ratio of casting to fighting would depend on the archetype.

Archetypes: I like these a lot, but would hope that they could all be brought in at either 1st level or 2nd level, rather than some at 1st, some at 2nd, and some at 3rd.

Alignment: Unnecessary, especially with the Traits/Ideals/Flaws/Bonds they're currently doing. For monsters, a quick Personality or Motivation section could give a much more in-depth and interesting overview for each creature, even if it was limited to a few words like "always hungry," "willing to negotiate," "curious about newcomers," "likes shiny things," or "prone to treachery."

Advantage/Disadvantage: I like and hope it would continue, although I expect that it would be modified to be a bit more granular. The Level Up playtest is using Expertise Dice (ranging from +1d4 to +1d8) to add the granularity, and I can see D&D6e doing something akin to that.

Skills and Proficiencies: These have been around for a long time, in one way or another. I like that skills and proficiencies have been split off from each other, with skills being more Stat-based and proficiencies being more general, but I can easily imagine that they might go back to them all being one way or another.

Feats: I think these are here to stay as well, although I imagine they'll again never be as bloated as they were in 3x.

Damage and Creature Types: I think these are useful enough to remain, although personally, I'd like to see a few more creature types. Or at the least, Spirit as distinct from Fey or Undead.
 

Not saying I'd go for this, but a possibility might be:

1. Mystic class
A. Archetype: Wizard. Choose one of the following abilities.​
i. Ability that gives bonuses to certain types of spells (one for each school of magic)​
ii. Ability that gives bonuses to understanding/countering/manipulating magic​
iii. Etc.​
B. Archetype: Cleric. Choose one of the following abilities.​
i. Ability that gives healing abilities.​
ii. Ability that gives supernatural smiting abilities.​
iii. Ability that gives bonuses to certain types of spells (one for each domain of spells--harkening back to the idea of cleric spheres, perhaps)​
iv. Etc.​
C. Archetype: Etc.​

With "ability" being a single ability that increases in power and range as you increase in level.

Plus feats that would allow you to take additional abilities within your archetype, from another archetype within your class, or to take an ability from another class, but at the cost of not spending that feat on something else that could be useful.

Would it work? I don't know. But I don't think it would be too complicated.
It would absolutely work, I'm sure. I don't even think it would be too complicated as such. But it would be more complicated for no gain in depth or customization.
 


Faolyn

Hero
It would absolutely work, I'm sure. I don't even think it would be too complicated as such. But it would be more complicated for no gain in depth or customization.
True, and I do agree.

But there's the question: how many classes does D&D actually need. I don't know. Right now there's thirteen, including Artificer, and there might be a fourteenth if they ever decide to make a full Psionicist class instead of just psionic archetypes. Obviously some people only want three or four. Is there a good middle ground? Should things like barbarians and rangers just be types of fighters?
 

True, and I do agree.

But there's the question: how many classes does D&D actually need. I don't know. Right now there's thirteen, including Artificer, and there might be a fourteenth if they ever decide to make a full Psionicist class instead of just psionic archetypes. Obviously some people only want three or four. Is there a good middle ground? Should things like barbarians and rangers just be types of fighters?
Need? You don't need classes at all. You want enough to cover all the archetypes people are likely to expect, without having so many that people can't wade through the list.

I think 12-13 is pretty dang close to the sweet spot, myself. Many fewer and you have to smush fairly disparate ideas together (ie druids are just a kind of cleric), many more and people will be intimidated by the list. But 6 is probably plenty if you condense all magic to a single thing (ie all magic works the same, people just learn it differently), and you can probably have as many as 18 without getting into 'overwhelming' territory.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Well, I do think there's just a legitimate divide in the player base here. Should the D&D base game be a sleek toolkit, with just enough guidance to let individual tables create the elements they want for their game? Or should it be a more sprawling toolbox, with built-out options for all the most popular D&D tropes?
D&D should be a stock car: complete and usable out of the box but open to being modded and kitted as needed. Nothing grinds my gears worse than the idea D&D/d20 should be GURPS: a generic framework that can support any and all types of fantasy. D&D should be its own game and support its own tropes and setting(s) first, but be open to allowing homebrewing and house-ruling to taste. It is one area I absolutely think Pathfinder got right; everything Paizo puts out fits Golarion and their system first, but can be remixed to make it work with other settings and mods if the GM wants to put the effort it.

As to the poll, I think to me there is a certain lingua franca between editions that needs to more-or-less exist. For example, I say I'm playing a Lawful Good Half-elf Monk with a 18 Dexterity and 8 Charisma, you have a general picture of what my character is despite not mentioning if I created the character in AD&D, 3.5, 4e, 5e, or some clone version. Every D&D players knows what "Save vs. Poison" is, even if its actually a Constitution or Fortitude Save. Every player knows a what a the value of a +1 longsword is, even if the math and rarity of such a thing changes. Everyone knows casting fireball requires a handful of d6s. THAT to me is D&D. Which is partially why elements of 4e felt so wrong or why some of the proposed changes for 5e feels like a loss; we lose that common experience that may differ in execution from edition to edition, remains similar enough that a AD&D grognard and a 5e newkid can swap stories and mostly understand what the other is saying.
 


squibbles

Explorer
[...] how many classes does D&D actually need. I don't know. Right now there's thirteen, including Artificer, and there might be a fourteenth if they ever decide to make a full Psionicist class instead of just psionic archetypes. Obviously some people only want three or four. Is there a good middle ground? Should things like barbarians and rangers just be types of fighters?
Need? You don't need classes at all. You want enough to cover all the archetypes people are likely to expect, without having so many that people can't wade through the list.

I think 12-13 is pretty dang close to the sweet spot, myself. Many fewer and you have to smush fairly disparate ideas together (ie druids are just a kind of cleric), many more and people will be intimidated by the list. But 6 is probably plenty if you condense all magic to a single thing (ie all magic works the same, people just learn it differently), and you can probably have as many as 18 without getting into 'overwhelming' territory.
The current set of classes works fine for D&D, but it is very kludgey.

I think D&D should be a bit more discriminating about the theming of its classes. Fighters and Wizards are general enough to express tons of archetypes--to the point that other whole classes could be folded into them. Other classes are super specific, to the point that I'm not regularly convinced their 5e subclasses make thematic sense, i.e. storm herald barbarians, circle of spores druids, swarmkeeper rangers, etc.

I would like it better if the game was more explicit that some classes are broad and others are narrow--so, not any specific number of classes, just better thematic and mechanical organization of them. Some archetypes need to be their own complete thing, e.g. psion, but others--even others with relatively strong themes--are better off being bolted onto a generic chassis, e.g. gladiator. That way there are plenty of interesting fighty and magicy character options without too much class bloat or any obligation for the designers to write the umpteenth weird barbarian subclass that has no prior basis in myth or fiction.

D&D should be a stock car: complete and usable out of the box but open to being modded and kitted as needed. Nothing grinds my gears worse than the idea D&D/d20 should be GURPS: a generic framework that can support any and all types of fantasy. D&D should be its own game and support its own tropes and setting(s) first, but be open to allowing homebrewing and house-ruling to taste.
Yeah.

In its particulars, D&D clearly doesn't support all fantasy.

I'd like it if game publications were more upfront about that. Instead of having a setting that is strongly implied by class mechanics while pretending to be applicable to all fantasy genres, the PHB could state BLUNTLY what genres it supports best, and provide some suggestions for creating characters in genres it supports less well (i.e. dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, etc.). In the PHB and NOT the DMG; every player needs to see that guidance.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
No demands for Gygaxain prose? Or gold for XP? Or for encouraging lateral thinking via obtuse rule systems? What's next? Only having one type of polearm?
Now c'mon, let's not go crazy here... even 5E gives you a choice of three types of polearm (four, if you consider the lance to be one too). ;)
 

Uta-napishti

Explorer
You could make a game that way, and it would work, but I'm not sure it would work better.

If all the spellcaster archetypes (wizard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, bard, warlock, artificer, psion) were lumped into one class, you'd still need sub-archetypes to further differentiate at least some of these (cleric, sorcerer, bard, warlock) and the rest would need either sub-archetypes or new archetypes to cover the whole theme (necromancer, illusionist, mesmer, caster-monk, alchemist)... But I really don't think anyone would call their character a Life Cleric Mystic. They'd say Life Cleric and leave the 'class' out, because it's not necessary to explain what you mean.

In other words: you've added a level of taxonomy. I don't see how that helps any design goal.

Also: with only four possible combinations, I'm not sure multiclassing is worth the effort either. On the other hand, I would like to see spell limits get simplified for most classes, though I think I'd leave spell slots/preparation for wizards (which would then definitely need their own class.)
You don't really need any archetypes defined by subclasses etc. You have access to all spells as a mystic. Your spell choice is your archetype. Want to be a life cleric? Pick some healing spells. Want to be a heal wizard? Pick the same spells, but a different backround. Want to be healing warlock? Pick the same spells, but say they come from your patron. Want to be a healing psion... you get the idea...
Bards pick more illusion and enchantment spells, and have a few levels of Expert to pick up inspiration, or performance skills.
Classes are just there to provide a container for some leveling stuff, and some broad association with types of power (Magic, Muscle, Skills), but don't have any roll defining archetypes... everybody does that themselves. If you want to have some example builds to make a Wizard vs a Psion, you can have a list of suggested feats / spells like the Battlemaster Builds part of Taschas.
The idea of Low Class D&D would be to remove specific class and subclass ownership of most abilities, boil down the pool of abilities into 3 big pools, and let folks mix an match to make MORE varied characters rather than less.
 

ART!

Hero
It's a tough call with classes. As they are in 5E, I think they're a little too complicated, but having improvement progressions laid out for you - for classes and subclasses - is great for new players, but broader, looser classes with a lot of the 5E class features available to everyone makes for more varied characters. I imagine the 6E of a far-flung future will lean toward the latter.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My voting is interesting in that I voted for some sacred cows that I am ambivalent about persoanlly wanting, but because they are such the part of the D&D feel that without them there's going to be another player split like there was under 4e. I play plenty of other RPGs and don't need these aspects for a successful RPG, but do think they are part of what defines D&D. It's like when Hero System did Fuzion (sp?) and it was very different - that wasn't Hero System, and they went back to more classic. So this poll is functionally equivalent of the last one.

As a side note, in the last thread there were a number of additional points posted as "other" that really should be on this list now that they have been identified. They don't have poll ratings on them, but that doesn't make them inherently false. It feels like it's just repeating the last poll with a slightly different angle, as opposed to growing from the last poll where people put a lot of good thought into other aspects of the game that weren't originally identified.
 

You don't really need any archetypes defined by subclasses etc. You have access to all spells as a mystic. Your spell choice is your archetype. Want to be a life cleric? Pick some healing spells. Want to be a heal wizard? Pick the same spells, but a different backround. Want to be healing warlock? Pick the same spells, but say they come from your patron. Want to be a healing psion... you get the idea...
Bards pick more illusion and enchantment spells, and have a few levels of Expert to pick up inspiration, or performance skills.
Classes are just there to provide a container for some leveling stuff, and some broad association with types of power (Magic, Muscle, Skills), but don't have any roll defining archetypes... everybody does that themselves. If you want to have some example builds to make a Wizard vs a Psion, you can have a list of suggested feats / spells like the Battlemaster Builds part of Taschas.
The idea of Low Class D&D would be to remove specific class and subclass ownership of most abilities, boil down the pool of abilities into 3 big pools, and let folks mix an match to make MORE varied characters rather than less.
That makes it possible but more difficult to pull off for people who don't know the system. Freeform systems are not simpler or easier to use.

Classes are not just packets of rules; they're a way to guide players, especially players new to fantasy games, to making the characters they want to make. Low class options remove that benefit.
 

I think D&D could get by with 3 Character Classes, Mystic, Martial and Expert being focused on Magic, Fighting and Skills respectively. Or INT/WIS, STR/CON, and DEX,CHA more loosely. Combined concepts, half casters, holy warriors, etc would be all just created by Multiclassing a level or two to pick up your artificer tech, or your magical smites for instance. Let's call it "Low Class D&D". I also think spell slots should definitely be replaced with more flexible spell points (simply 1 per spell level, not the WoTC spell points tables), and spell preparation should ultimately be replaced by your familiarity with the spell that would set a DC for a Spellcasting check.
I would never play this game, and I would encourage everyone I know to boycott it.
 

Faolyn

Hero
You don't really need any archetypes defined by subclasses etc. You have access to all spells as a mystic. Your spell choice is your archetype. Want to be a life cleric? Pick some healing spells.
I could actually see altering the spell lists to create a larger number of "spheres" (or whatever you want to call them), each with a set number of spells per level. Then your Mystic could pick X spheres from which they can get spells. They might be banned from other spheres or simply have a much harder time learning or casting those spells.
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
That's understandable, and I wouldn't disagree with you on that-- the audience absolutely did widen with the advent of d20.
D&D was in a big slump and that is sad. It was very poorly managed by the successors to Gygax. Gygax spending so much time on the cartoon and not his company is another. Of course from a financial perspective, one good tv show was worth more than all of D&D many times over so you can see his motive. The bottom line. Sadly he gambled and lost.

I seriously doubt D&D has ever had the market penetration it had in 1985. I mean everybody was playing. Games would break out at the drop of a hat. People were playing during morning breakfast before school. It was wild. I don't think D&D has ever recovered from those days even with 5e. And raw sales don't tell that whole story.

d20 was a move to save the game. And it did that very well. D&D since has been at least moderately popular even during periods I'd consider "bad" times.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
D&D was in a big slump and that is sad. It was very poorly managed by the successors to Gygax. Gygax spending so much time on the cartoon and not his company is another. Of course from a financial perspective, one good tv show was worth more than all of D&D many times over so you can see his motive. The bottom line. Sadly he gambled and lost.

I seriously doubt D&D has ever had the market penetration it had in 1985. I mean everybody was playing. Games would break out at the drop of a hat. People were playing during morning breakfast before school. It was wild. I don't think D&D has ever recovered from those days even with 5e. And raw sales don't tell that whole story.

d20 was a move to save the game. And it did that very well. D&D since has been at least moderately popular even during periods I'd consider "bad" times.
Well, there's almost no practical way anything could have that sort of market penetration these days compared to 1985, because just like film and tv... there's just so much stuff out there. The market is way too wide for anything to rise as high as AD&D could in the mid 80s. But heck, when you think about it... with the number of RPGs that have come out and been released and played and promoted over the last couple decades, the fact that 5E actually has gotten as big as it has is a miracle in itself. This kind of massive resurgence after a long fallow period is not usual in any way.
 

Faolyn

Hero
the fact that 5E actually has gotten as big as it has is a miracle in itself. This kind of massive resurgence after a long fallow period is not usual in any way.
Nah; D&D has major nostalgia value, and it's the RPG that everyone has heard of. It'd be more shocking if a different system had become as namebranded as D&D did.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top