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Level Up (A5E) [+] What features should a "Advanced 5E" have?

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Jewel of the North

  • metric system (or both systems) like with the Cypher system
  • Abstract ranges (self->touch->near->distant->afar)
  • Use the random die roll to determine the number of target hit in an AoE, like in the 13th age.
Evocation spell
1 Action

Deal 6d8 fire damage to 1d4+1 near targets within a distant range unless they make a Dex save for half damage. You can add 2 more targets but all allies within touch range of the targets must also make the save.

In Adventures in Middle Earth, the Weapon Master Warrior Subclass has a feature where your Fighting Styles can be upgraded into somewhat of a more potent version of the style. For example, Protection allows you to do a Shield Bash once it's "upgraded" and Dueling allows you to add that +2 to damage to +2 to hit should you choose.

Perhaps Fighting Styles can be upgraded via Downtime, Classes, or even Folk Familiarity.


I'd like to see 5e's version of Prestige classes, which I think is further development of the Factions concept from Adventurer's League. Make those five levels of reputation provide more benefit that currently, and develop the system to further explain how you can gain reputation and the obligations that come with it.
I'd like to see some of the stuff Matt Collville has been doing with the game, incorporated into it in a more formal way. Retainers, Followers, building your own Stronghold and Guild, etc..
I'd like to see a good full tactical combat optional ad-on, with some more melee oriented classes like the Warlord.
I'd like to see an optional Zero-level pre-hero rules.
I'd like to see more weapon rules, and more weapons. Lets see all those old polearms, and more differentiating between the weapons, with more than just damage dice they can do. Some more armor options might be nice as well.
I'd like to see an expansion of the exploration and social tier, with more rules for both.
I'd like to see some Epic level rules, with rules on becoming a demi-god.
Pretty much covered everything I'd want with this, particularly the bolded bits.

This is an opportunity to show that D&D still has its tactical-combat teeth, that martial/caster balance is not a horrible awful bad thing but actually a really good and fun thing, and support a wider variety of experiences with a one-stop-shopping kind of place.


Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
I would like for each classes to have a wide variety of flavor options
  • clerics who are clothies
  • barbarians who cast spells while raging
  • gish options for spellcasters
  • bards who actually represent non-spellcaster tricksters like Merry, Pippin, Link, and Jaskier.
  • viable elemental-specialized caster options starting from level 1

I would like to see mechanics for exploration etc. that speed the process, clarify your options, and go to form a good story

I would like for there to be classic monsters and all-new monsters. Also, bring back Templates!

I would like for building encounters (including adding traps etc.) to be as easy to use as in 4e

If a monster can be it or use it (vampirism, creating golems) then it should be an option for the players.

In other words,

"Wisdom" is two separate abilities:
• Perception → Intelligence (very Aristotelian!)
• Willpower → Charisma (social, Stoic)

To Aristotle, Perception and willpower were inherently connected. One gain willpower (courage and temperance) by understand the true nature of the world and himself. By perceiving what was truly good or bad (temperance), achievable and unachievable (courage), one gained the mental fortitude necessary for correct action.

If I could combine the two mental ability scores (in a very un-Aristotelian way), I would choose:

Intelligence (add Perception)
Willpower (add social skills)


I'd like to see something along the lines of what WotC announced initially, one which adds options for ALL editions of the game...which would mean...options...options...options with customization with ideas from every edition of the game...examples would be...

1. From BX - AD&D to 3e/3.5 options ....Different proficiency bonuses for different classes.

What I mean by this...Martials advanced differently than Rogues, Divines, and Wizards in hitting with weapons. Where a Wizard may get +2 to +6 over their levels, that's only 1/2 advancement. Rogues would advance from +2 to +9 and Martials would advance from +2 to +12 in hitting ability.

This could vary greater than this...but that would likely throw the entire system out of balance with 5e monsters unless other options were included. The above uses the old 3e/3.5/PF form of combat advancement where Martials got full advancement, Rogues and Divine got 3/4 advancement, and Arcane casters got 1/2 advancement.

In addition, this could also apply to skills. Have it where skills actually have skill point allocations again, however the number of points would differ (once again, similar to 3e/3.5 editions...). This would mean that Rogues may get 6 skill points per level...while Martials get 2 and everyone else gets 3. This keeps the number of skill points low (in accordance with how few skills are distributed or given in 5e), but has them allocate different amounts. To replicate expertise, Rogues could allocate more than one skill point to a skill per level.

2. From 2e More options for a more Vancian casting system. While 5e is vancian, it's not quite the same as older systems. Include the options for lower number of starting spells at lower levels (such as like pre3e with 1 spell at 1st level) ...and higher number of spells at higher levels.

3. Introduce an option to utilize something like THAC0 (admittedly, could be too much work as you would have to reverse engineer all the AC and To Hit bonuses from Proficiency bonuses).

4. From 3e to 3.5 and PF, include ways for people to get Prestige Classes.

5. From 3.5...include a way that monsters can be created similar to PC's. They can have classes added to their monster levels.

6. From 4e...include a powers system (daily, encounter, utility, at-will). With this include tactical options with each power. Have this applied to Wizards, Fighters, Rogues...etc. Each class...similar to 4e. Thus, it uses the 5e system of combat and saves, but with tactical powers and such...(Admittedly, I'm already working on this system, with a simplified form of it so that powers scale with levels instead of selecting new ones each level...but that's my own work rather than what you guys are doing. Also...this is a LOT of work).

7. From AD&D...Include classic classes such as the Cavalier, the Acrobat, and the Assassin as base classes rather than Archetypes.

8. From AD&D...include a classic saves system (5 saves) which have static bonuses which decrease (makes it easier to roll over as you gain higher levels).

9. From 3e, 3.5, and modified in 4e...include a simplified save system which only has 3 saves (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will). One could even use the Proficiency bonus for this as it reflects similar numbers to 3e for some of the weaker saves (+1-+6).

10. From 4e or 3e...include a Psionics system which reflects a lot of similarities to how magic works, but is different...many seem to want Psionics. Also include the Warlord Class.

Edit - After reading other thoughts, one more to add...
From AD&D - Include stronghold rules and follower rules. In otherwords...Name Level. Give rules for building a stronghold and people flocking to you as followers. Perhaps even include a battlesystem.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If you wanted to muck about with levels of success, it is possible to replicate something very much like the standard PbtA spread on a d20 roll, you just need to hammer at the mods a little and do something for expertise other than double prof mod. I probably wouldn't brand this on the side of the sacred cow of combat, but it might be a useful dongle for some kind of social interaction/exploration system. 5E could do nicely with some success at a cost in both areas, IMO anyway.
What if Ability checks only add your ability mod, and your roll larger dice if proficient or dbl proficient? So, 2d6+mod by default, 2d8+mod if proficient, 2d10+mod if dbl prof?

Could also increase the dice pool but you always use 2 dice for the result, so proficient is 3d8, then 4d8, taking the highest 2 dice?


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Nonmagic? This sounds more like a "Minstrel" archetype for the Rogue class. Or, "Troubadour".
Rogues aren’t inspirational, IMO, nor can they normally affect groups of people into emotional displays, quiet a savage beast, or any number of other things bards one stories can do. Nor should Bards be Sneak Attacking as their primary combat contribution.

IRL, work songs literally make people work harder, and more effectively. It’s easy to imagine a bard giving bonuses to saves against Exhaustion without casting any spell or doing any overt magic.


Seriously though, when I see a game with an economic system that says "It costs 50% of the market value of an item to make that item, you can only sell items for 50% of their market value, any particularly valuable magic item is un-sellable because nobody wants it or can afford it" I just freaking lose it. I will foam and froth and I will bite you and give you rabies.
No RPG has ever had an economic system that comes anywhere close to being realistic.

D&D in general and this Level Up game in particular is not where I'd focus my efforts in that area...


In the end, though, I find it unsatisfying. There is something fun about a nice weapons chart with a bunch of stuff on it,

D&D just isn't generic. It has specific, even idiosyncratic, classes, items and so on.

It's engaging and making sense of this "mess" that makes a large part of making D&D feel like D&D.

Avoid all temptation to clean this up! So very many games that are wannabe D&D killers only to end up on the heap of dusty forgotten games...

Especially for a project like this. If anything players love that there's five different varieties of guisarme-glaives, even if they only do so secretly and won't admit it.

Same thing with classes: D&D just isn't generic classes. A Ranger simply gets stuff a Fighter can't do, and vice versa.

Even ability scores. The way they all are used for different things, and not equal in value is a cornerstone of the D&D experience that shouldn't be underestimated.

A game as 5E adjacent as this one should definitely not experiment in these areas.


- My most wanted thing would be more mundane classes and archtypes, ala AiME. Having all classes be inherently magical makes it hard to play theme differing from high magic heroics.
The general question here is:

But do the gaming public really want a more traditional experience?

Magical classes is, as I see it, part of a greater trend to move D&D away from classic Lord of the Ringsian Thieves World etc grounded fantasy and into... something else with inspiration drawn from sources outside classic western fantasy.

I guess it's a question for the surveys. My point here is that it might not be a coincidence or an accident so many classes have magic in 5E... and that changing this might not be the job for a project specifically geared to be "advanced 5E Dungeons and Dragons"...?


Excited for this. I would suggest waiting to narrow down the themes and content till after WotC have releashed the rumored crunch book in the Fall.

If WotC announces an "advanced" product of their own, obviously this project needs to be stopped before it even starts.

(There sure is a gap and opportunity for an advanced 5E like I've been saying for years, but that absolutely depends on WotC not closing it themselves)


I don't necessarily need a "crunchier" game in terms of game mechanics. One thing I like about 5e is that I rarely have to look up advanced rules for things like grappling or whatever. However, I would like to see more meaningful character choices as characters level. In 5e, once characters choose their subclass, they are pretty much on a similar path with everyone else in that subclass. Sure, feats exist to provide some variety, but I'd still like some more ways to truly differentiate characters, particularly in higher levels.
Just FYI: that's also called crunch.

Just a matter of differing between player-side crunch and core game crunch!


One thing I'd like to add, and I realize this may be far away in the future, is the ability to play on a VTT. I don't foresee getting to play again in person, so compatibility with online play is a must.
I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. So yep.


fix long and especially short rests
short rest focused classes get the short end of the stick

the 4-6 encounter rule is way off

create viable solo monsters

Stacie GmrGrl

Number 1...Customization.

Right now 5e is a Theme Park game. All of your prominent character choices are made the first 3 levels, and then your only chouce is to pick a Feat or not. If the DM allows multiclassing, you get more options. So once you're at level 4, you're set on your Class Theme Park. No more class choices.

So Customization.

Some 3rd party books to possibly consider looking at is the Stargate rpg beta, Ultramodern 5e redux, and 5e Hardcore mode by Runehammer. Each takes the core 5e chassis and changes it in some way.

Number 2... Make the first 3 levels mean something. Right now you burn through the first 3 levels so fast that they are irrelevant. And considering that these are the primary levels where you currently make all your choices that sets up all the rest of your Class levels, these levels should mean something.

Number 3... More tactical options. If this is to be an Advanced 5e, than combat should be, well, Advanced. Not saying it has to be like 4e, but maybe like the combat options in the games Fantasy Craft or Astonishing Swordsman & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2e. Combat Actions and Maneuvers that anybody can do.

Number 4... Implement a form of Skill Challenges, but maybe in the form of Circles from Blades in the Dark.

Number 5... DM Tools. Maybe hire Kevin Crawford for this, if he's willing. He has always had the best GM tools in his games.

Number 6... Have Class options but no Sub classes. Just have options of choice and let players build their ideal sub class from the options. You can even do a Classless Option. Look at Talislanta 5e for an example.


Just two "crunchy" things I'd like to see supported in the 5E design space. These are likely to have significant impacts across a number of subsystems.

First, the big one: make Str as mechanically valuable as Dex, and Int as mechanically valuable as Wis and Cha.

Second, go back to the "traditional" three saving throws: Fort, Ref, Will. (OK, they turned up in 3E, so it's not like they're that traditional). This is kinda related to the first, but much, much easier to do independently.

Cheers, Al'Kelhar

Halloween Horror For 5E