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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 .

Minigiant

Legend
I agree with your premise.

However, I'd far rather see feats Go Away. Bake the key elements that make a class what it is into those classes and bin the rest. ASIs, on the other hand, while somewhat unneccesary are all in all relatively harmless.

Boom. Simplified gameplay (and simplified build phase), and way fewer balance/optimize issues.
Feats may be one of my few must-haves.

I much prefer customizability to simplified gameplay. I pretty much hate everything simplified gameplay has done in the field of D&D because unlike some other systems, D&D and its children can't seem to make character creation and advancement fun while doing it.

This all goes to my point that an essential element of D&D is level based classes with very strong archetypes in universe.

The wizard uses a spellbook, can't heal with spells, wears no armor, and his or her weapon options are terrible.

The issue is that said archetypes are so strong and enforced that us humans get bored of seeing them. Then we want to tweak them and can't agree how. And we get bored of them faster now that other media have copied the D&D class archetypes so you already see them a lot.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Feats may be one of my few must-haves.

I much prefer customizability to simplified gameplay. I pretty much hate everything simplified gameplay has done in the field of D&D because unlike some other systems, D&D and its children can't seem to make character creation and advancement fun while doing it.
There's the difference, I guess: I don't see character creation and advancement as that big a deal. It's just a chore that has to be done and got over with so as to get to the real fun, which is playing said character in the game. :)
 

There's the difference, I guess: I don't see character creation and advancement as that big a deal. It's just a chore that has to be done and got over with so as to get to the real fun, which is playing said character in the game. :)
For me, one leads into the other. I like fine-tuning who and what my character is to get a specific experience I'm going to get in play.

Tonight for example, I'm not just playing and aasimar bard, I'm playing a half-cocked mad scientist with Disney princess tendencies thanks to my feat loadout. (Pathfinder game, so I have a healthy amount of feat and archetype choices). And it's not just me playing at that, I actually have those abilities mechanically: I science the monsters we fight to develop armaments for the team and can sing animals to our defense... and also manipulate shadows because whatever celestial is in my family tree isn't normal.
 

Remathilis

Legend
For me, one leads into the other. I like fine-tuning who and what my character is to get a specific experience I'm going to get in play.

Tonight for example, I'm not just playing and aasimar bard, I'm playing a half-cocked mad scientist with Disney princess tendencies thanks to my feat loadout. (Pathfinder game, so I have a healthy amount of feat and archetype choices). And it's not just me playing at that, I actually have those abilities mechanically: I science the monsters we fight to develop armaments for the team and can sing animals to our defense... and also manipulate shadows because whatever celestial is in my family tree isn't normal.
With the obvious caveat of "play what you like", I have never gotten these types of characters. The ones who MUST be 3-4 archetypes crammed together like that. I have a player in my group who does exactly this: he can't pick just one archetype, he picks several and somehow his tortle bard w who not only fights giants and wanders The Sword Coast in search of adventure, is also a popular chef and the culinary critic writer and restaurant reviewer for a Waterdeep newsrag and whose personality is a mix of Volo, Anthony Bourdain and Alec Guinness's Obi-Wan. That sentence wore me out. There is nothing wrong with playing off type, but that reads to my like three very interesting characters (mad scientist, Disney princess, sinister-origin aasimar) all Frankensteined together.

Play what you love man, but I don't get it.
 

The thing is, it's not like I set out to make this weirdo; she happened organically: a Bard with the archivist archtype. The mad science came from having craft: alchemy that I ended up getting very aggressive with getting reagents for. The Disney Princess came from Handle animal skill + Fascinate turning our wilderness encounters hilarious as I hypnotized every animal. The aberrant celestial thing came from spell choice and an alternate aasmiar trait that the party started commenting on and I ran with.

My point is that I was able to get something cool because I had a lot of room to customize.
 



I am baffled how levels can be so popular when XP are not? What's the point of levels if you don't earn your XP?
Personally? Because levels are discrete increments of power that keep characters from being too lopsided like in some non-level-based advancement games. In HERO or M&M for example, it's really easy to make a character who is trivially easy to hit and bring down because you ignored that aspect while with levels, you usually get automatic improvements for basic competence.

XP on the other hand is a lot of extra bookkeeping for the player and work for the DM. This got even worse in the editions where XP could be drained or spent in addition to being level currency.
 


meltdownpass

Explorer
How is it?

"The session is over. Add this number I am telling you to your current XP number."

Not sure if you've handled XP in some other way, but this can only be described as a negligible amount of extra bookkeeping.
Simple in theory but not in practice. Sometimes a player isn't present. Sometimes a character dies and a new character is inserted into the story. Sometimes there are side-sessions where only part of the group is present. Sometimes the GM revises the amount of XP they give out and someone misses it. Sometimes the game system requires you to spend or gain experience points beyond simply adding at the end of the session. Sometimes levelling up occurs numerically at a point that makes no sense in the story.

People like level-ups because it drips novelty and mastery into the game. Handling a strict XP number on the other hand really does add complexity. Just last game session in one of my groups I asked how much XP I should have, to sanity-check the number I had on my sheet. I got four different answers.
 
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turnip_farmer

Adventurer
Simple in theory but not in practice.
No, it's simple in practice too. Since that's what I do. It's not simple for the GM, since I have to keep track of how much XP each character gets; but the players just get their number (along with the explanation of what it's for - that bit's important so they know how to earn it).

But to each their own. This part answered my question:

People like level-ups because it drips novelty and mastery into the game.
 

Another way to look at it is 'what does XP offer the player outside of leveling, which can be divorced from XP?'.

Back in the day, it was a motivator to get the players to take risks fighting monsters and logistics puzzling treasure back to town, but these days fighting monsters is its own reward and far fewer people enforce logistics puzzles so... the question is what else can XP offer?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
With the obvious caveat of "play what you like", I have never gotten these types of characters. The ones who MUST be 3-4 archetypes crammed together like that. I have a player in my group who does exactly this: he can't pick just one archetype, he picks several and somehow his tortle bard w who not only fights giants and wanders The Sword Coast in search of adventure, is also a popular chef and the culinary critic writer and restaurant reviewer for a Waterdeep newsrag and whose personality is a mix of Volo, Anthony Bourdain and Alec Guinness's Obi-Wan. That sentence wore me out. There is nothing wrong with playing off type, but that reads to my like three very interesting characters (mad scientist, Disney princess, sinister-origin aasimar) all Frankensteined together.

Play what you love man, but I don't get it.
I can understand it. Just looking at those three, mad scientist(what you do) and sinister-origin Aasimar(who you are) fit a theme. I don't see how Disney Princess fits in there, but other "in-theme" types can work well together with the other two. People are complex and generally aren't just one narrowly defined thing.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The thing is, it's not like I set out to make this weirdo; she happened organically: a Bard with the archivist archtype. The mad science came from having craft: alchemy that I ended up getting very aggressive with getting reagents for. The Disney Princess came from Handle animal skill + Fascinate turning our wilderness encounters hilarious as I hypnotized every animal. The aberrant celestial thing came from spell choice and an alternate aasmiar trait that the party started commenting on and I ran with.

My point is that I was able to get something cool because I had a lot of room to customize.
That's really cool. I love when organic play leads to changes in the character like that.

I want to say right now that the following isn't a negative opinion on what you did, but rather just what I would have done with that character. Were that my character, I wouldn't have gone Disney Princess with the animal stuff. I'd have roleplayed it along the Mad Scientist lines. Yes, handle animal and Fascinate would be the means, but I'd have roleplayed using chemical concoctions(fluff) as the method by which I handle the animals and Fascinate them.
 

Ooo, that's good. Sadly, the Disney Princess jokes started before the mad science... I just like talking about mad science more.

Also, she's literally the Princess (actually Queen) as we're playing a Kingmaker style campaign.
 

Frozen_Heart

Explorer
Merging classes into subclasses is rarely satisfying, and just ends up diluting what makes that class unique to much that it loses what made it enjoyable.

Which is why we have people asking for a warlord and swordmage every other day. If you do that to all classes apart from fighter, rogue, wizard, you will just end up with the same as the warlord/swordmage thread spam.... for 11 other classes!
 

Faolyn

Hero
However, I'd far rather see feats Go Away. Bake the key elements that make a class what it is into those classes and bin the rest. ASIs, on the other hand, while somewhat unneccesary are all in all relatively harmless.
I'm a bit leery of this. While I understand where you're coming from, feats did a lot to allow for customization. I know, it could still be customized by giving each class a lot more choices at each level, or allowing racial/lineage choices when you level up as well. But at least some of the current feats are things that don't fit into any one class or lineage (Linguist, Observant, Poisoner) but are still rather cool and flavorful.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I am baffled how levels can be so popular when XP are not? What's the point of levels if you don't earn your XP?
You can level up with milestone/story awards.

The problem with XP is that it's so strongly rooted in killing monsters. Yes, attempts are made to include exploration and social challenges in them, but they're rarely all that well implemented and often those challenges aren't worth as much as killing a monster is.

I could see an XP system where you get to check off a box when you accomplish a goal, and after so many boxes are checked you go up a level, could work. Thus, killing a monster and talking your way past the hostile guards and successfully repairing the boat and sailing it to your destination would all be worth a checkmark.
 

ART!

Hero
Yeah, I can't be bothered with XP as a DM. If I award XP for killing monsters, I feel like I need to award points for other achievements, which means I have to come up with XP for different achievements - which means I will also have to come up with XP rewards on the fly, or sit down after each session and work it out. I've got enough on my plate as a DM, so no thanks.
 

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