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

aco175

Hero
I fear a 3e style of cherry-picking the best combos coming if we allow everyone to pick all the traits they want from other races. I could see some other form of ability but still based on that race but modified a bit for the new location. Something like a dwarf not raised underground would no longer get stonecunning and darkvision, but replace it with skill focus (profession) and +1 Cha to show growing up around human shops and farms. Not- 'I want the halfling reroll ability and high elf cantrip." Other systems do this.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
That is why races, classes etc need to remain fairly rigid and inflexible.

Point-buy generation of a character D&D is not.

The point is to force you to take the good with the bad.

Elves might have superior vision or higher Speed, but also lower Constitution.

And so on.

Allowing too much customization is a sure-fire way to lose the "5E feel".
 

ART!

Adventurer
Either give every "race" a flaw, or have no races with flaws. I'm thinking about things like -2 Strength for kobolds, and Sunlight Sensitivity - just off the top of my head. I totally get why the races who have those flaws have them, but I want races to be as mechanically equal overall as possible.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Pro Tip: flaws don't appreciably contribute towards balance.

Why? Because a race is invariably taken by a player for whose concept that flaw isn't a concern.

Flaws instead contribute to a game's idiosyncracies. They create texture to the chargen phase of gameplay. Resistance to the notion every build can do everything.
 

Every Background comes with a Flaw. The Background suggests flaws, and players can make up their own.

The nice part. The strength and the weakness are the same thing. They are two sides of the same coin. There are advantages to being introvert, and costs. There are advantages to being extrovert, and costs. The strength itself is the weakness.

I find this highly realistic.
 

Undrave

Hero
Can I ask what the virtue is of separating species from culture?

Not a dig, I’m just genuinely interested in how it helps?
Because a specie is not a culture. Just looking at humans in the real world in the past and present and you'll see tons of difference in upbringing. The idea that 'Elf' or 'Dwarves' are all that same, or that species like Orcs, Drow, Goblins, etc, are born with naturally 'evil' traits is filled with all sorts of weird real world connotations, unintentional or not.

Divorcing what is genetic from what is learned would help add variety, but also avoid unfortunate implications.

The idea, at least the one I would suggest, would be to allow the DM to create their own set of cultures (which would themselves be built by smushing one of each Environmental and Societal traits together), and so the PC would just pick from the available species and one of the DM's pre-set cultures, creating a replacement 'race' block that could cover the stuff the Race pick normally does.


That is why races, classes etc need to remain fairly rigid and inflexible.

Point-buy generation of a character D&D is not.

The point is to force you to take the good with the bad.

Elves might have superior vision or higher Speed, but also lower Constitution.

And so on.

Allowing too much customization is a sure-fire way to lose the "5E feel".
To a point yes, but what I'm advocating is just 1 more segment of what is already there. Instead of Race-Background-Class, you go Species-Culture-Background-Class. That way, an Elf Noble Wizard from the Norther Metropolis and an Elf Noble Wizard from the Forest Conclave won't feel like the same character, even if they pick all the same Class element.
 


Oh! Bring back the 'Bloodied' condition and stuff that triggers off of it! Especially recharging monsters abilities.
Bloodied is a helpful design.

It clarifies how hit points work. It ensures fair fights, by at least allowing the target to do some action before shutdowns become possible. It makes nonlethal combat practicable. It serves as a reasonable indicator to make a morale check. And so on.

A really good design idea.
 

ART!

Adventurer
Pro Tip: flaws don't appreciably contribute towards balance.

Why? Because a race is invariably taken by a player for whose concept that flaw isn't a concern.

Flaws instead contribute to a game's idiosyncracies. They create texture to the chargen phase of gameplay. Resistance to the notion every build can do everything.
"Pro Tip": I don't think there's any way to quantify that...unless we're talking about extremely quantifiable things like a -2 to Strength, which I was. ;)
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Because a specie is not a culture. Just looking at humans in the real world in the past and present and you'll see tons of difference in upbringing. The idea that 'Elf' or 'Dwarves' are all that same, or that species like Orcs, Drow, Goblins, etc, are born with naturally 'evil' traits is filled with all sorts of weird real world connotations, unintentional or not.

Divorcing what is genetic from what is learned would help add variety, but also avoid unfortunate implications.

The idea, at least the one I would suggest, would be to allow the DM to create their own set of cultures (which would themselves be built by smushing one of each Environmental and Societal traits together), and so the PC would just pick from the available species and one of the DM's pre-set cultures, creating a replacement 'race' block that could cover the stuff the Race pick normally does.




To a point yes, but what I'm advocating is just 1 more segment of what is already there. Instead of Race-Background-Class, you go Species-Culture-Background-Class. That way, an Elf Noble Wizard from the Norther Metropolis and an Elf Noble Wizard from the Forest Conclave won't feel like the same character, even if they pick all the same Class element.
So the DM has to now create cultures for every possible playing race in their world? In case a player wants to play it?

It seems you are suggesting an elf from Waterdeep has different mechanical benefits than an elf from the High Forest. Can I ask how this is more inclusive. Surely you have just broken your discrimination into a smaller segment. Instead of

saying ‘elves are X’... you’re now saying ‘these elves are X’

I mean if your saying you want extra abilities not currently available, then ok. I understand. I don’t agree that it’s needed. But I understand the desire.

I just find it odd that we are justifying a different shade of difference as if that is somehow better.

🤷🏻‍♂️

It mystifies me.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
So. Many. Pages. I haven't read the thread so I will (most likely) be reiterating some stuff:

-Ability to improve skills individually. Even the occasional skill boost or the ability to pick up more skills.
-Better choice of weapons and/or weapon customization
-two thumbs up for your goal to make grittier if that's what a group wants.
-More distinct Class Spell Lists.
-Combat maneuvers: grappling/disarming/tripping
 


aco175

Hero
I have been playing with a type of bloodied condition lately. I use a red ring on the mini when the monster is about 1-hit away from dying. It is a loose system where 1-hit means rough numbers to PCs of different levels. It gives the players a clue that the monster is about to die and they can plan a second attack or something.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I have been playing with a type of bloodied condition lately. I use a red ring on the mini when the monster is about 1-hit away from dying. It is a loose system where 1-hit means rough numbers to PCs of different levels. It gives the players a clue that the monster is about to die and they can plan a second attack or something.
We're early in surveys, and only starting the design process. I can't praise much about the final product... except bloodied will definitely be a thing, in the 4E 50% (plus triggering stuff) sense. We still use it in 5E, and even in non D&D games.
 

Undrave

Hero
So the DM has to now create cultures for every possible playing race in their world? In case a player wants to play it?
No... they just make places characters can come from, or just allow the player to mix and match on their own the same way you can pick race/class/background already. You don't want species to be monoculural.

It seems you are suggesting an elf from Waterdeep has different mechanical benefits than an elf from the High Forest. Can I ask how this is more inclusive. Surely you have just broken your discrimination into a smaller segment. Instead of

saying ‘elves are X’... you’re now saying ‘these elves are X’
No... I'm suggesting that all elves get mechanical benefit X1, all Halflings get mechanical benefit X2, that EVERYONE from Waterdeep has benefit Y1 and everyone from High Forest has benefit Y2. So you can have characters who are X1-Y1, X1-Y2, X2-Y1 or X2-Y2.
 


FrozenNorth

Adventurer
I would like to see the sorcerer as “the focussed caster” or “the thematic caster” much in the way the wizard is “the generalist caster”.

5e already went part of the way on this by restricting the number of spells known and making metamagic a sorcerer exclusive, but crucially, the did not go far enough.

First, limited number of spells known and sorcery points are already hard limits on what a sorcerer can do. There is no reason to highly restrict the number of meta-magic they get access to. If a sorcerer’s theme is fey magic, they should be able to choose both Suggestion and Misty Step without worrying that very few meta-magics apply to both spells.

Second, since sorcerers have so many fewer spells than wizards, they should draw them from a larger list. It makes no thematic sense that the sorcerer’s list is more restricted than the wizard’s.

Finally, more subclasses! A specialist needs subclasses more than a generalist, since it is the subclass features that make the limited spells chosen “pop”.

My suggestions for subclasses: subclasses that lean into the thematic nature of sorcerers by encouraging the choice of thematic spells more powerful. For instance, the druidic equivalent of the Divine Soul, except the features give some sort of boon when druid non-cantrip spells are cast (maybe a 5’ move that doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks?).
 

The idea, at least the one I would suggest, would be to allow the DM to create their own set of cultures (which would themselves be built by smushing one of each Environmental and Societal traits together), and so the PC would just pick from the available species and one of the DM's pre-set cultures, creating a replacement 'race' block that could cover the stuff the Race pick normally does.




To a point yes, but what I'm advocating is just 1 more segment of what is already there. Instead of Race-Background-Class, you go Species-Culture-Background-Class. That way, an Elf Noble Wizard from the Norther Metropolis and an Elf Noble Wizard from the Forest Conclave won't feel like the same character, even if they pick all the same Class element.
What would culture do mechanically?

Say you're in a medieval-history-based campaign and your party has a human noble fighter of the Frankish culture and a human noble fighter of the Kurdish culture. These two characters, if the players know what they're doing, are going to feel very different. But how exactly does the cultural difference show up in the crunch? Their species obviously defines their broad physical capabilities. Their background defines the skills and knowledge they've gained. Their class makes them good at fighting. But their cultures, it seems to me, don't do anything like that. The only obvious thing I can think of that they affect on the character sheets is language proficiency.

Yes, in a fantasy setting, one can -- and many do -- say things like "the elves of the Forest Conclave all learn the art of archery". But real cultures seem rarely to be like that, and even in fantasy, probably not all cultures are like that. If you make culture a discrete character build option, though, you've got to give every culture something. So what would you give an elf who's from a culture that isn't as, um, focused as the Forest Conclave?
 
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ThatGuySteve

Explorer
What would culture do mechanically?

Say you're in a medieval-history-based campaign and your party has a human noble fighter of the Frankish culture and a human noble fighter of the Kurdish culture. These two characters, if the players know what they're doing, are going to feel very different. But how exactly does the cultural difference show up in the crunch? Their species obviously defines their broad physical capabilities. Their background defines the skills and knowledge they've gained. Their class makes them good at fighting. But their cultures, it seems to me, don't do anything like that. The only obvious thing I can think of that they affect on the character sheets is language proficiency.

Yes, in a fantasy setting, one can -- and many do -- say things like "the elves of the Forest Conclave all learn the art of archery". But real cultures seem rarely to be like that, and even in fantasy, probably not all cultures are like that. If you make culture a discrete character build option, though, you've got to give every culture something. So what would you give an elf who's from a culture that isn't as, um, focused as the Forest Conclave?
Link some aspects of culture to background. A background like soldier could grant a weapon proficiency, Culture would tell you which weapon. Soldiers from the Forest Conclave all learn the art of archery, on the other hand Scholar's will just have to rely on their class proficiencies.

You could also mix it in to starting equipment, anything you get proficiency in from your background/culture you get at character creation.
 

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