D&D 5E What (if anything) do you find "wrong" with 5E?


Having a discussion with some players this evening and I wanted to ask the general community here:

What do you find "wrong" with 5E?

Now, "nothing" is a perfectly acceptable response if you are completely happy with 5E as it is. ;)

But, if there is something (a class, features, mechanics, or whatever) that bothers you or you feel was not handled correctly, and you feel like sharing, please do. :)

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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Exploration and social rules are in the Dmg when they are actions done by characters, they should be in the PHB

Stats top too quickly to 20.

Races features are lost in the sea of class features.

Class features Come online too late for the effect they grant.

Druids capstones should be archetype based like the paladin

And some more...😅


Information design: the writing is overly verbose, the indexes are a mess, content is not organized for usability, nothing is cross-referenced, the layout is not thoughtful.
This is excellent criticism, IMO.

I very much like 5e, but as long as we're nit-picking, I'd say (off the top of my head) that:

1) I'm not fond of Monster Design (too many of them are a bag of HP with nothing interesting to do OR a giant list of spells and abilities. A happy medium would be nice).
2) I don't like how tools work. (Advantage on relative skill checks? This wasn't even added until Xanathar's, before that tool proficiencies didn't quite do anything).
3) I don't think it's worth having 6 saving throws, when only four are really used. Strangely, most spells that cause INT saves usually cause INT (Investigation) checks instead. It's a mess. There's gotta be a better way.
4) Non-magic equipment. I'd really like to see a range of equipment that are NOT magical, but have mechanical properties that actually do interesting things using the mechanics of the game. It's pretty rare IME that anyone ever buys (just about) anything after character creation. There's just not much to shop for. Stuff to spend money on, is what I'm thinking here.

That's about it, I think.


Exploration and social rules are in the Dmg when they are actions done by characters, they should be in the PHB
Exploration and social rules are effectively non existent.

There is no real support for playing games about Dungeons or Dragons. In the first case, there are no real dungeon exploration procedures and resource management is mostly removed. In the latter case, up until Fizban's dragons were boring-ass bags of hitpoints.

This isn't really a 5E issue so much as a WotC issue: official 5E pretty much abandons GM facing material if it isn't a monster book or adventure and that bugs me to no end.


5e is my favorite edition of the game, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have complaints ;-)

I’m not a big fan of the skill system as currently implemented. I’d much rather have some more clear advice on how to adjudicate skill use, and I feel like a number of classes (looking at you Fighter!) need both more skills and more mechanics that interoperate with skills.

I prefer three saves (Fort, Ref, Will), and I’d rather have them driven off the worst of two associated attributes to encourage more balanced attribute spreads.

Dexterity is too good. At the very least, I don’t think it should give bonuses to damage, if you’re going to dump Strength your damage should suffer for it.

The rules for stealth kind of suck.

The Blade Pact Warlock is a mess, and should be reworked such that the patch of the Hexblade is not necessary. Also in Warlock territory Eldritch Blast should be a class feature that scales with class level, not a cantrip.

Sorcerers should always get spells from their subclass.

The stronger feats (Great Weapon Master, Sharpshooter) should be nerfed. I’d also rather have Feats as a non-optional rule, the current system where they compete with ASIs means that only the strongest feats actually get used, which is unfortunate.

Hand crossbows basically shouldn’t exist except as a delivery vehicle for poison. The fact that the best archer is a hand crossbow machine gun is a problem.

They should just admit that the game doesn’t really work in Tier 3 and 4 and end character advancement much earlier, maybe 12th level? Higher level stuff should be a totally separate add-on product.

Monsters should be reworked along the lines of MCDM’s Action Oriented Monsters. Seriously, they need to be more than buckets of hit points stapled to an attack action, give these guys something to do so I don’t have to keep improvising it.

The CR system is broken.

The split between short rest characters and long rest characters is a problem and needs fixing.


Too much lazy design. eg fitting simple and complex fighter into one class, negligible social/exploration rules, equipment, abilities as spells. I could go on for a while. Also the whole natural language thing is causing far more problems then it solved and its so called solved problems were in most cases not problems. Monster design.....enough said. Subclass and feat patches for class fails is the poster child for bad and lazy design, just dang it erratta what needs fixing.


Entire systems are missing for no good reason, or are incredibly under-baked; skills, exploration, social encounters, magic item purchasing and crafting, any real use for treasure, and monster building I would all include here.

Feats and Multi-classing break the game in half. The gulf in power between a regular PC and one that has even taken 1 powerful feat or a 1 level dip into a frontloaded class is enormous. These variant rules do not function as intended because it seems they were never given a real balance pass.

Most turns in general devolve into move+attack/cantrip. Sometimes players have BA abilities, sometimes they don't.

The Monk in general is way too squishy and deals way too little damage. Out of all classes they struggle to participate with any other single-class peer.

Many spells, even low level ones, are way too powerful. Web for instance, as a 2nd level spell, creates difficult terrain on successful save, and on a failed save it restrains the enemy, a condition that only goes away when the creature saves after spending an action to get free. This wrecks the action economy of a group of enemies of any level that don't have some kind of special immunity. And don't get me started on Polymorph.

The suggested adventuring day of 6-8 combats and a few short rests has no enforcement mechanism. In some games I've played short rest casters or abilities get the shaft, in others they have way more short rests than they should and dominate. The rest and recovery mechanics are working on a broken assumption with no real incentive to follow it.

The game doesn't function at all into the mid to high levels. Enemies either bring immunities to conditions, legendary saves, or some of the more broken spells in the PHB or they die like pushovers. Rocket tag rears it's ugly head yet again. Breaking the game becomes a triviality to anyone paying any attention to their spell list or planning out their subclass abilities.

The "natural language" and "rulings not rules" standard of the PHB onward lead to confusingly worded and explained abilities, and the clarifications from JCs twitter were even worse to the point that the company forbade rules clarifications via twitter after a while.

And the ultimate nitpick: the text is left-aligned instead of left-justified, because apparently nobody at Wizards ever noticed or cared.

TL;DR Summary
: the game is set up in a way that the people who will get the most value from the paid books are those that engage with the material in the least, leaving it to make up their own game on their own time or just ignoring mechanics entirely. It's been almost 9 years now and there's still a sense that the product is grossly incomplete. While some of these issues might be addressed in the new core books, in general I don't have a lot of faith on that front. Multiverse seemed to favor pushing things towards even more simple to the point that most caster monsters were severely nerfed. The Vecna stat-block was a joke, hardly worthy to challenge party members 10 levels bellow him. If Multiverse and things like it are an example of trends they are taking into the new core books I don't imagine it's a product I'll be too happy with.


pbft, well, uh...

saving throws. their distribution is absolutely terrible and the reasoning behind why something requires a particular saving throw seems inconsistent at best.

feats being an optional rule that requires you to give up an ASI and just generally being completely unbalanced.

MULTICLASSING being an optional rule and thus seemingly not even being considered at all in class design.

ASIs being tied to class instead of character level.

overly simple weapons.

magic items, both crafting them and assigning costs to them.

the majority of the capstones. like, the only good ones i can think of are the artificer, druid, and paladin. the barbarian and fighter are functional but boring, and then every other capstone sucks. well, maybe not the rogue one. it seems really limited for a capstone but it might be fine.

short rests should be 10 minutes. i have no clue why they made it an hour.

sorcerers being the metamagic class. actually, no, metamagic being a class gimmick at all. why is this a class gimmick? why not just let it be a thing casters can get access to, whether through feats or some other mea--OH, RIGHT, BECAUSE YOU MADE THOSE OPTIONAL.

i don't even know if the exploration or social pillars actually exist. on the social side that doesn't matter much because we're all human beings and we know how to talk to each other presumably, but on the exploration side...uh, yeah, have fun with that, ranger.

a personal issue more then anything - i don't care for artificers as casters. i'd prefer artificers as semi-martials (e.g. rogue) with better magic item prowess. a less personal issue - magic item crafting basically not existing forces artificers into a really weird design space where they're almost a warlock that can give their invocations to other people, which just feels...strange.

skills. the line between some of them is far too thin (PERCEPTION AND INVESTIGATION. there is no cough.), and also the optional rule divorcing ability scores from skills should honestly just be base.

what is the point of tools? does XANATHAR even know?

no tags to determine if something is magical or not. this was in 3e. why did we ditch this?

in short, the game's just not done. also short rests are too long, and make metamagic class-agnostic again.


B/X Known World
Exploration is a joke. Everything "challenging" about it is easily obviated by basic class abilities, backgrounds, and cantrips. To say nothing of various low-level spells and easily obtainable magic items. Fixing this requires a few pages of house rules. I should know, I wrote some.

Social skills are terribly handled. They're often used as mind control and telepathy. Social interactions are the most mechanically supported they've ever been...yet the specific mechanics are still lackluster at best. Could be fixed with more robust social interaction and encounter rules.

Too many races with darkvision. Easy fix. Bring back low-light vision and give that to the races who don't live underground. Keep darkvision for races who mostly or exclusively live underground.

The monsters are undertuned. The CR system is laughably broken. The medium encounter is a joke. Combat doesn't start getting even marginally challenging until somewhere past deadly. The best fix is to use higher CR monsters than suggested, ignore the CR system, and/or use deadly as the new medium.

PCs have way too much power way too early in the game. Short of forcing everyone to start as a survivor or a sidekick, the best solution is to slow down leveling and use the monster, CR, and encounter fix above.

Death is wildly too easy to avoid. High hit points, easy recovery, clerics and others dirty with healing, death saves, easy access to resurrection magic. Too many potential fixes to consider. Cap hit points at 9th level or lower. Use gritty realism as the standard rest mechanics. Remove death saves. Characters at zero hp are dying and the referee rolls 1d4. They die after that many rounds. The players don't know how many rounds that will be. Remove several of the more potent and healbot healing spells.

Resting recovers too much and they're far too easy to come by. Especially with ridiculous spells like Leomund's Tiny Hut. There's no meaningful single encounter in an adventuring day unless a character dies because all their stuff regenerates after an 8-hour nap. The best fix is gritty realism and banning Leomund's Tiny Hut.
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Giant, terribly written adventures that can't be run at the table without reading the damn tome a few times and making a bunch of notes and quite possibly having to rely on a remix written by someone on the internet. Kind of makes DMing a cool book feel like a waste of time for me, and was the last straw.
Yeah. All pre written adventures need tweaking, but when they are massive entire campaign affairs, the workload gets out of hand.


5E is the Weenie Hut Junior of Dungeons & Dragons!

Though that mostly a problem for people who want D&D to be more like the Salty Spatoon...
On the Player side, 5e is Weenie Hut Junior.

On the DM side, 5e is the Salty Spitoon as you have to be a tough, experienced badass with either a lot of time or money to DM 5e as so much is missing and a lot of resources either never come or aren't printed for years.

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