• 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 .

cbwjm

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.
I use xp to track levelling and award xp for encounters defeated, quests completed, and great ideas. xp for encounters is generally easy to calculate, for the rest I typically award an amount of xp needed to reach the next level in increments of 2.5%/5%/10%. Completing a major quest uses 10%, side quests use 5%, other random achievements use 2.5%. Since I work these amounts out when they level, I have the numbers right there which makes it easy to track.

Also, since I track the xp for the whole party (as in I have a single xp total rather than tracking for each individual) it keeps people at the same level. I could just use milestone levelling, but people like knowing they have an xp track and seeing how close they are to the next level.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
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?
A sense of reward, the same thing they're going for with points or this 'achievement unlocked' nonsense in video games. I give out XP for accomplishing objectives and doing good deeds, with bonuses for clever solutions. The players seem quite happy when it's time to dish out the points, and there's sometimes excited jabbering when they're close to the next level, so it serves a psychological purpose.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Again a difference: when rolling up a character I'm not (usually) trying to predict what specific play experience any given character will provide. I start with a general idea* of personality and-or characterization and then just see how it develops from there.

* - and even that sometimes doesn't survive first contact with the table; there's times when I've completely upended my preconceived character concept with the first in-character sentence I utter! My Necromancer-Assassin wasn't ever intended to be a Jack Sparrow knockoff, but at the moment I started playing her I for some reason slipped into that mode; and it fit, so I just went with it.
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.
Another difference: I don't feel I need mechanical differences to reflect every little thing about my personality and-or background.

Never mind that what you've got there is, in my eyes, completely OTT to start with. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
So just effin' do it.

Really. It's not that hard.

As for levelling up mid-story, if you have training rules in place the problem Goes Away as the level-up doesn't take effect until training is done.
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.
Er...as only one of those answers - the one that came from the DM - matters, why give any credence to the other three?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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?
Incentive for characters (and by extention, players) to get involved and not hang back.
Incentive for characters to take risks.
A means of tracking how far away the next level is.

I should point out that I always assume individual xp by character, based on what that character actually got involved with in the fiction. Example: a party of five PCs, three of them get involved in a combat while one is away scouting and one is sleeping in his tent; only the three get xp for that combat. (meanwhile the scout might get a different amount of xp for the scouting, or none at all, depending on the situation)

Group xp, where everyone gets xp for everything no matter who was involved, is IMO garbage.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Thing is, I'd like to get away from mechanical customization and put a lot of it into sheer flavour and personality. You can have six characters running on exactly the same mechanical chassis (e.g. six basic Fighters) and yet each will be vastly different from the others in play simply due to their role-played quirks, personalities, language, etc. That's what I'm after.

Racial and-or cultural differences (be they mechanical or not) overlaid on this just add to the possibilities.

Poisoner, for example, should be a baked-in class feature for Assassins and maybe some specific Cleric types, and not available to anyone else. (i.e. anyone can try using poisons but those trained as Poisoners are much better at it)

Linguist sounds like a background; i.e. something you only have to choose (or roll) once and may or may not have any mechanical effect beonyd perhaps - again only once, at char-gen - giving you knowledge of an extra language.

Observant? If you mean alertness, i.e. harder to surprise, 1e baked that in as a Ranger feature and that always seemed like a good place for it, though a solid case could be made for baking it into Rogues and maybe Bards as well. In any case it's easy to lock in as a class feature. If by 'observant' you mean something else, please elaborate.
 

meltdownpass

Explorer
So just effin' do it.

Really. It's not that hard.
Or just don't do it, which is my preferred solution.

Most of the time I play in groups of mature players who aren't too concerned with levelling -- It's nice occasionally to get access to new powers but the progression isn't the singular and sole aim of the game. And when I do play with players who are more concerned with keeping track of how close they are to a level up, tracking XP numerically has only led to concerns of missing out, favoritism, etc.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Most of the time I play in groups of mature players who aren't too concerned with levelling -- It's nice occasionally to get access to new powers but the progression isn't the singular and sole aim of the game.
I myself am one such, and completely subscribe to this concept.

But I still like tracking xp.
And when I do play with players who are more concerned with keeping track of how close they are to a level up, tracking XP numerically has only led to concerns of missing out, favoritism, etc.
If you don't want your PC to miss out on the xp then get stuck in rather than hanging back as a PC or playing on your phone as a player. You're right that favouritism can become an issue: the way to beat this is instead of giving out xp as a lump sum, give them out event-by-event and in the process explain who got what and why. (thus, when xp are given out each player in theory ends up with a string of numbers to add together)

At my table xp distribution happen usually once every half-dozen sessions unless I know someone's close to bumping, and it takes maybe 15 minutes total. Figuring out the numbers takes me-as-DM maybe another 15 minutes, and I can do this anytime I like between sessions.

I want the PCs who do things to be the ones who earn the xp reward; further, I want the reward to (ideally, it's just not really possible to quantify this in practice) reflect the indivudal risk taken.

Oh, and a side note: in my view xp are a reward for what the character does, not the player: I don't care how many of your beer you let me drink during the games, your characters aren't getting any extra xp for it! :)
 

Greg K

Hero
Thing is, I'd like to get away from mechanical customization and put a lot of it into sheer flavour and personality. You can have six characters running on exactly the same mechanical chassis (e.g. six basic Fighters) and yet each will be vastly different from the others in play simply due to their role-played quirks, personalities, language, etc. That's what I'm after.
Personally, what you are describring that is why I and many other gamers I know (and knew) left D&D for other games before returning with 3e. I want the mechanical customization. Idon't care about optmizing for combat or power. I do want the mechanics to reflect what my character is good and is not good at and having the opportunity to pick things up new things
Poisoner, for example, should be a baked-in class feature for Assassins and maybe some specific Cleric types, and not available to anyone else. (i.e. anyone can try using poisons but those trained as Poisoners are much better at it)

Linguist sounds like a background; i.e. something you only have to choose (or roll) once and may or may not have any mechanical effect beonyd perhaps - again only once, at char-gen - giving you knowledge of an extra language.
Why shouldn't my fighter, ranger, rogue, druid, bard, or whatever have access to Poisoner? Maybe, they grew up in a culture that used poisons for hunting and/or defense against agressive outsiders. Maybe, along the journey, the group stayed with a people who do use poison for those purposes? Maybe the character apprenticed with an herbalist, alchemist, or assassin who taught them about poisons before events led them to study the class in which they begin?
Observant? If you mean alertness, i.e. harder to surprise, 1e baked that in as a Ranger feature and that always seemed like a good place for it, though a solid case could be made for baking it into Rogues and maybe Bards as well. In any case it's easy to lock in as a class feature. If by 'observant' you mean something else, please elaborate.
Why shouldn't a fighter, who served as bodyguard or sentinel or whom grew up among hunting in a rural environment or among hunting nomads have alertness?
Why shouldn't a barbarian have keen senses from growing up in a non-urban environment, growing up among hunters, in a situation in which he could be attacked at any moment, or being raised by animals?
Why can't a monk have alertness from zanshin which is " a state of awarness or relaxed alertness" and something associated with several martial arts?
 
Last edited:

Incentive for characters (and by extention, players) to get involved and not hang back.
Incentive for characters to take risks.
A means of tracking how far away the next level is.
That's kind of what I was talking about. In the groups I have experience with, who are admittedly all of a much newer generation of gaming, we're already there to get into the thick of things, because we expect to engage with the fiction and aren't being dissuaded by high lethality.

We also can pretty much anticipate leveling based on story beats. When we accomplish something important, we know we'll be levelng at the end of the session.

Difference of outlook and playstyle.

Again a difference: when rolling up a character I'm not (usually) trying to predict what specific play experience any given character will provide. I start with a general idea* of personality and-or characterization and then just see how it develops from there.

* - and even that sometimes doesn't survive first contact with the table; there's times when I've completely upended my preconceived character concept with the first in-character sentence I utter! My Necromancer-Assassin wasn't ever intended to be a Jack Sparrow knockoff, but at the moment I started playing her I for some reason slipped into that mode; and it fit, so I just went with it.
I'm a mix. I design a character to do certain things and support certain concepts, then adjust based on what comes up organically. I often have a specific action or roleplay set-piece the character is built to eventually achieve and go from there. Sometimes I get there, sometimes I don't.
Another difference: I don't feel I need mechanical differences to reflect every little thing about my personality and-or background.

Never mind that what you've got there is, in my eyes, completely OTT to start with. :)
I love over the top, larger than life characters. Subtle is for NPCs, IMO.

And that's why I like having lots of mechanical levers to fiddle with to get exactly the feel I want. I mean, I can obtain my level of zany without them, but I won't be happy just standing and swinging my sword and saying I'm doing something cool; I want to execute a feint, followed up with low sweep to put the chump on the ground, then dust them with a burst of flame from may palm.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top