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

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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.


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.

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I really want a game that is transparent about how things are built. Both the mathy bits and the ribbon bits. And then clear procedures for the GM or player to build their own.

I'd like a disclaimer that if someone uses the above desired-by-me rules to build something, balance is as good as what the players and GM bring to it - in other words if someone creates their owlbear (mountain heritage) monk hexblade, it may have slightly less or more DPR than the other player's gnome (air elemental heritage) druid school of divination. And if that DPR disparity exists - well caveat emptor.

In terms of "under the hood", here's what I'd like revealed
  • Class
    • Sub-Class
  • Race (changing the name of that to heritage or folk would be good)
    • Sub-race
  • Spells
  • Magic Items
  • Artifacts
  • Equipment
  • Backgrounds
Also, epic levels (up to 30+).

More robust uses for Inspiration, especially ways to engage with Ideals, Flaws, and Bonds.

End of Session procedures.

Random Dungeon and Terrain generation tables.

Robust PVP rules.

Instead of ASIs, increasing ability scores would be through failing at a skill check with those scores - basically a parallel advancement track for each ability.

If I was to get really crazy, I'd love to see an optional "fail forward" or "succeed with cost" mechanism provided.

If I was to get super duper crazy, I'd love to have robust rules for social encounters (Burning Wheel's Battle of Wits? 4e's Skill Challenges? Other?) that could parallel physical combat encounters, but lean on WIS, INT, CHA.

Will there be an A5E MM? (A5E Manual of Monstrosities?)


Jewel of the North
For actual content,

- 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.

- I'd like to have a unified attack/defense sequence in 5e like in 4e, where all attacks and spells were made against a Defense or in 3e where all spells were resisted by a Saving Throw. Having both is confusing and adds nothing.

- I'd also like to have more classes be at-will or resource less like the rogue OR have all class operate on the same recovery mechanics. Have them all be reset on long rest or short rest.

- I'd would appreciate a reforged monk less based on kung-fu movies and more on fighting-sages from different origins.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
#1 Knobs for DMs to adjust the number of encounters per long rest / short rest to their pacing style.

Likely it would need some alternate spell advancement charts, and then some per class adjustments.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Less distinct weapons. Right now 90% of the weapons list would never be used by a primary weapon wielder character. Make them just general categories that players can flavor however they like within those categories to allow player creativity and chocie of weapons that aren't "the most advantageous".


I would love something that actually fulfills the original "modular elements of complexity" and "dials" concept of 5e before the design team mostly abandoned those ideas in exchange for simplicity. I want a PC that can feel like a 4e martial in play, for example. I want more meaningful character options. I want degrees of success. I want different types of weapons and armor to matter and perform differently. I want more dynamic, tactical combat. I want exploration to matter more. I want monsters that run as streamlined and interesting as 4e monsters. There are lots of cool possibilties, and I will be following this project with interest.


Entropic Good
My Level up desire: Cantrips with variety and character. 5e suffers from "Every warlock has eldritch blast, every bard has Viscous mockery, every cleric has sacred flame toll of the dead, every wizard has firebolt" It's not 100% true, but it's pretty common. People like spells that do damage, since bards, clerics, warlocks only have one (two for clerics?) options, everyone takes it. People value damage over side-effect, so the wizard cantrip that does 1d10 at a good range (poison sprays 1d12 can't shake that 10ft range) in given vast preference.

I would say every class that has attack cantrips should have a bunch of choices that are flavorful. Plunder 4e's overdeveloped catalog of at-will powers. Give a slew of comparable spells. I would say make all the damage dice the same size as possible, if firebolt was 1d8 with effect, we'd see a lot more of the other ones show up. Make some more Melee attack weapon spells so clerics and weapon-bards can get their cantrip swing on.

I'd also like to see modal cantrips like "1d4 damage and choose one: knock prone, push 10ft, or disadvantage on next attack"

I spent some time a while back work shopping "eldritch blast" replacements (essentially they'd be effected by any invocation that names eldritch blast) and had fun doing it, but they all kinda had to be 1d8 damage since I wanted effect riders and didn't want to just make a strictly better eldritch blast and the truth is I don't think enough people would take "1d8 fire damage plus something reasonably cool" when "1d10 damage" is at the table.

Give fun cantrips, give fun choices.

Less distinct weapons. Right now 90% of the weapons list would never be used by a primary weapon wielder character. Make them just general categories that players can flavor however they like within those categories to allow player creativity and chocie of weapons that aren't "the most advantageous".
Between "lumping" versus "splitting", I prefer to lump weapons into general weapon categories.

At the same time, others have asked for even finer splits between weapon mechanics.

Give an example of what you would prefer?

Alternative initiative systems, including:

-Elective Action Order/Balsera-Style/Popcorn initiative
-Greyhawk initiative (modified not to penalise bonus actions)

...but playtested to oblivion.

Port the rules from Gumshoe/Lorefinder to 5e - the conversion should be easy. Investigations/conveying information are so much faff otherwise. "Roll, and keep rolling until you get the right roll, or otherwise i will spend 10 minutes devising a convoluted way to give you the information you need to progress, anyway". Such a waste of time, and it's easy to fix. I'd call investigative skills "Authorities" and make Spends interact with the Inspiration system.

I like the idea of a non-magical ranger, and the rest of the stuff in Morrus' list.


Small God of the Dozens
A couple more unrelated thoughts:

On weapon distinction. Rather than have a long list of separate weapons where a long sword does X, a short sword does Y, and a great sword does Z, you could have a short list of basic templates and a list tags or descriptors that provide additional effect. So three fighters could three quite different swords that reflect their style or whatever. I can think of a dozen ways to make that really cool without thinking too hard. Armour could actually be handled the same way.

Something else that occurred to me is encumbrance. It often gets handwaved, and when it doesn't it's not what I'd call usefully complex. If you look at some of the really great stuff some of the OSR games have done (Black Hack springs to mind) there's room for some additional tactical depth there for sure. Not that you necessarily want to go in the OSR direction generally, but there are some really awesome mechanics in some of those games.

Also, a more general idea, if you ask people what rules they most often actually hack into their 5E games, rather than just what they'd like, I bet you'd get a pretty different looking list of examples. Maybe for the survey part of what you guys have planned, IDK.


Jewel of the North
Yeah that's an interesting request. The first I've heard to make weapons less distinctive!

In my own 10-levels take on the SRD, this is what I went with:
. You can carry a number of items equal to your STR score. The Powerful build trait increases this number by +5.
  • 3 small items (flask of oil, meal, 1 battle worth of ammunitions) stack per load.
  • All items use 1 load.
  • Items with the heavy or two-handed trait use 2 loads.
  • 300 coins stack per load.

Armors. There’s 3 types of armor. In a regular shop, an armor costs 5 gp x its base AC. Cloaks, helms and shields costs 20 gp apiece.

Proficiency Required
Heavy armor
AC 17
Disadv to DEX (Acrobatics and Stealth), heavy, requires 13 STR
Ex: Mail hauberk, plate armor

Medium armor
AC 14 + DEX (max 2)
Disadv to DEX (Stealth)
Ex: Chain shirt, brigandine

Light Armor
AC 11 + DEX mod
Ex: Leather jerkin, gambeson

Shield, +2 AC when wielded, requires 11 STR and proficiency
Helm, +1 AC, Disadv to WIS (Perception), requires 11 STR
Heavy cloak, advantage to resist effects of extreme cold, precipitations and winds.

Weapon. Weapons are divided in categories.In a regular shop, a weapon costs 5 gp + (3 x its maximum damage). Ammunition cost 1 gp for 1 battle worth of arrows, bolts and stones.

  • Melee works in close range (5’); two-handed have reach (10’)
  • Ranged suited for ranged attacks disadv in melee and beyond short range (2 x STR score in feet) up to max reach (5 x STR score in feet)

Proficiency Required

Natural weapon are not considered weapons when it comes to classes features. They cannot be removed from you or lost.
Ex: breath weapons, claws and fangs

Easy to use but weak
  • One hand or ranged/thrown: 1d6 damage
  • Two hand: 1d8 damage
  • Dual 1h: 2d6 dmg, take best single d6 result
Ex: Clubs, spears, hunter bows

More complex and powerful
  • One hand or ranged/thrown: 1d8 damage
  • Two hand: 1d12 damage
  • Dual 1h: 2d8 dmg, take best single d8 result
Ex: Swords, halberds, war bows

Traits: At the DM’s discretion, some weapons gain trait allowing special abilities.
  • Finesse: can be use DEX instead of STR for attack and damage rolls (ex: dagger).
  • Two-hands: This weapon requires to hands to use (ex: longbows).
  • Heavy: A small creature using this weapon has disadvantage on attack rolls. (halberd).
  • Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing/Silvered/Magic: Some creatures have special resistances, immunities or vulnerabilities to specific damage types. (ex: skeletons are vulnerable to bludgeoning damage).

Light and darkness. There is 4 level of lighting: Darkness - Dim - Normal - Bright.
Dim light grants ½ cover to all creatures and gives disadvantage to ability checks relying in sight within it while darkness grants total cover.
Bright light makes it impossible to all creatures to hide and creatures have advantage on WIS (Perception) and INT (Investigation) checks. Creatures with darkvision increase the level of lighting by +1 in their vision range.

Supplies. Here you’ll find a list of some sundries you may require on your adventures.

Acid (vial) 25 gp
Alchemist's fire (flask) 50 gp
Antitoxin (vial) 50 gp
Arcane focus 20 gp
Artisan’s tools 40 gp
Backpack 2 gp
Bedroll 1 gp
Chest 5 gp
Druidic focus 5 gp
Gambler’s set 5 gp
Grappling hook 2 gp
Healer's Kit (5 uses) 25 gp
Holy symbol 15 gp
Holy water (flask) 25 gp
Kit, climber's 25 gp
Kit, forgery 15 gp
Kit, herbalism 5 gp
Kit, poisoner's 50 gp
Lamp 5 gp
Magnifying glass 100 gp
Meal (1 day) 10 sp
Musical instruments 30 gp
Navigator's tools 25 gp
Oil (flask) 1 sp
Paper (one sheet) 2 sp
Potion of healing 50 gp
Rope, hempen (50 feet) 1 gp
Spellbook 50 gp
Spyglass 1,000 gp
Tent, two-person 2 gp
Thieve’s tools 25 gp
Tinderbox 5 sp
Torch 1 cp
Vial 1 gp
Waterskin 2 sp

But in the end, I guess that if you want to go with an Advanced version of 5e, you'd better focus on more options and granularity. For A5E, I'd go with more distinct weapons, maybe inspired by the more recent weapon feats.


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.


Entropic Good
Yeah that's an interesting request. The first I've heard to make weapons less distinctive!

There is certainly an appeal to " 1 handed martial weapons deal 1d8 Chose damage type, chose one: versatile 1d10, thrown, finesse; call it anything you like" as a way to let you have any weapon you want on an even playing field. If weapons are "fair" then the combinations are fairly deterministic and why bother having two entries for longsword and battle axe when they are identical stat-wise?

In the end, though, I find it unsatisfying. There is something fun about a nice weapons chart with a bunch of stuff on it, even if they are following a pattern that is pretty easy to figure out. I would rather a nice, complete weapons table, with rules for how the weapons were made so you can add your own.


Remove if short rest and the instant heal of long rest with crippling classes that rely on it

Like a dally charge feature recharge there class resources x-Time out of battle

Combat terrain effects like an environment turn that effects all ( but villains and mister have adapted)

Remove of counter spell Or rework so spell casting villains don’t get shut down so easy

for table top and theatre of the mind to keep it flexible

Solo monster rules like the monster (takes A turn after each players turn ?)

3 action economy (only one spell each round unless Bono’s /qucickebd action Tag and cantrip )

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