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D&D 5E What most needs revision for the (hypothetical) 50th anniversary core books?

Mercurius

Legend
Let's assume that we will, indeed, see revised core rulebooks in 2024, a proverbial "5.5." Let's also assume that it won't be more than 5.5, and maybe more like 5.3-5.4...the key being backwards compatible.

The question: What aspect of the core rules do you feel is most in need of revision? If you could ask the folks at WotC to revise one area, what would it be?

For myself, I've played 5E too sporadically over the years to feel like I know the system inside and out enough to offer a super educated opinion, but my first thought is classes. Maybe I'm biased because ranger is my favorite, or at least default, class, but I'd like to see them strengthen some of the weaker ones (ranger, monk, sorcerer), and without requiring a subclass to do so.

It is probably too large of a change for even 5.5, but I'd like to see how a slightly less bounded accuracy would look, with Proficiency Bonus going up to +10 at 20th level rather than +6. I like bounded accuracy, but wonder if it is too bounded. It just strikes me as odd that a 1st level fighter with 20 STR has a base +7 to hit, while a 20th level fighter with 20 STR is only +11. I know: class features, feats and magic items and all that. But, still.

You?
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I think the “per encounter” usage would receive the most revision. We’ve seen a move to “equal to proficiency modifier” in Tasha’s, and I expect we’ll see more of that.

Alignment, is of course, toast.

Most of the rest would likely be soft tweaks - tightening up spells and subclasses, and of course another iteration of Ranger.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Exploration challenges! Its great to have a Monster Manual, but it should contain Exploration and Environmental challenges, like with 4e which had ''stat blocks'' for traps, diseases and weather effects.
I like this, but that could also be added within an adventure or in a splat. I would love to see some kind of 5E version of Wilderness/Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (maybe Explorer's Survival Guide?). As much as I like the story/setting focus of 5E, I do kind of miss the "deeper layers of rules" that we got in previous editions.
 


Aldarc

Legend
There are a number of interconnected mechanical issues that I would have them look at involving the relationship between classes and subclasses as well as short/long rest mechanics, etc. For example, there may be more conceptual space for various subclasses depending on how they design the core chassis of a class. I would appreciate it if they established a clearer conceptual design space for classes such that there is room for Warlords and Psions as well as better developing the conceptual spaces of classes they have, such as Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Rangers. A Warlord, for example, could be possible as a Fighter subclass if the Fighter was redesigned for that design space.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I like this, but that could also be added within an adventure or in a splat. I would love to see some kind of 5E version of Wilderness/Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (maybe Explorer's Survival Guide?). As much as I like the story/setting focus of 5E, I do kind of miss the "deeper layers of rules" that we got in previous editions.
Agreed.

Then, maybe a rewrite to allow subclasses at 1st level for all classes?
 

I don't like the idea of a 5.5 Ed. At least there are a lot of new ideas to playtested in the videogame versions.

My suggestion is a "vintage" edition, the rules of 5th Ed but with the pictures, look and layout of 1989 edition, for collectors.

Other possibility is an Unearted Arcana sourcebook with alternate rules and ideas.

I would rather subclasses since the first level, or at least a "class feat" in the first level to feel my PC is different from the begining.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Adding the conditions from Lesser Restoration to the list of things Greater Restoration can fix.

Half-in-jest. Put all the short rest recharge classes and things in an appendix. :)
 

Let's assume that we will, indeed, see revised core rulebooks in 2024, a proverbial "5.5." Let's also assume that it won't be more than 5.5, and maybe more like 5.3-5.4...the key being backwards compatible.

The question: What aspect of the core rules do you feel is most in need of revision? If you could ask the folks at WotC to revise one area, what would it be?

For myself, I've played 5E too sporadically over the years to feel like I know the system inside and out enough to offer a super educated opinion, but my first thought is classes. Maybe I'm biased because ranger is my favorite, or at least default, class, but I'd like to see them strengthen some of the weaker ones (ranger, monk, sorcerer), and without requiring a subclass to do so.

It is probably too large of a change for even 5.5, but I'd like to see how a slightly less bounded accuracy would look, with Proficiency Bonus going up to +10 at 20th level rather than +6. I like bounded accuracy, but wonder if it is too bounded. It just strikes me as odd that a 1st level fighter with 20 STR has a base +7 to hit, while a 20th level fighter with 20 STR is only +11. I know: class features, feats and magic items and all that. But, still.

You?
I mean, what you're describing is a 6E, unless 2E was also a "1.5" but ignoring that...

Obviously there are things which literally must change:

Lineage and that general approach have to replace race
Alignment has to be downplayed further
Design has to move away from the "apology mode" of 2014 towards "we have 50m+ players" mode of 2021.
Tasha's choices built in to classes - making them the default in many cases.

Everything else is semi-optional:

FR should go as default setting, imho. Don't have a default setting or use a Nentir Vale strategy or even licence Wildemount in perpetuity if they'll let you for a reasonable price.

Ranger needs to be reworked and finalized.
Re-jig Sorcerer to be pure spell points. Alternatively, remove him from the PHB and replace him with Psion or something.

Completely re-do healing and grittiness mechanics. Kill Hit Dice, they don't interact with much so it won't matter much. Replace them with something very like System Strain from Worlds Without Number, and actually make healing spells interact with it (it's very simple to do so).

Change short rests to 10 or 15 minutes. Long rests remain where they are but don't automatically set you to full HP.

Re-write the DMG completely. Top to bottom. Massively improve the quality of advice - nothing in the DMG stands up to the quality of advice in either DMG2 from 4E (!!!) or VRGtR which just came out. Completely replace all optional rules in the DMG with actually-playtested, actually-sane rules, none of this "I came up with it on a break to fill a requirement" stuff that we have now.

Archetype choice should be the same level for everyone. Probably 2. With the advice that experienced players can just start at L2. None of this nonsense where some people start with a theme etc. at L1 and others can't have it until L3.

Prob more thoughts later, these are the first that occur.
 

TrueAlphaGamer

Truly a Gamer
There's a difference between what I'd want and what I feel is needed, but IDK if even I can distinguish between the two, so here are things I feel are good targets:

  • Rework Skills/Proficiencies/Backgrounds. Maybe not change them, but change the approach, from both a DM and Player angle. Make skill/tool proficiencies matter more, build clearer/more visible mechanics into them that aren't as reliant on the whim of the DM, lean in to alternate skill/attribute combinations more.
  • More/different classes. Just. Please. There is only so much design space with the current class/subclass paradigm that many archetypes are just glossed over. Plus, with the design assumptions of current 5e, and such limited differentiation of classes, it makes it harder to add or even homebrew new classes, because there's only so far one can stray from the template before running blind.
  • Rethink the adventuring day. The 6-8 encounter day seems way too arbitrary, and almost completely unnatural before maybe level 7. Players just don't get enough resources to justify waiting that long between rests. In fact, I think there just needs to be more instruction to DMs on how to craft and optimize encounters for groups based on their size, level, and relative game knowledge.
  • Re-draw the halflings. They're terrifying.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Toast or an optional rule?

For the life of me I don't know why WotC can't take a both/and approach with some of these changes (e.g. alignment, racial ability mods, etc).

They wouldn't want to, because backwards compatibility means actually developing and this information for future monsters and races. If you are printing alignment on every monster, then you can't really say you're dropping alignment.
 

ART!

Legend
I'd like to see variant rules options included in the PHB, but I understand why they wouldn't want to do that. An as-specific-as-possible note in the appropriate PHB rules section about where to find the variant option in the DMG would suffice.
 

Mercurius

Legend
They wouldn't want to, because backwards compatibility means actually developing and this information for future monsters and races. If you are printing alignment on every monster, then you can't really say you're dropping alignment.
If that is the case, and if some of the other "neo" changes are made canon, I'm guessing we see some kind of Pathfinder for 5E, with "classic D&D" in mind. Does anyone know if the current legal documents allow for something like that? At the least, someone will create supplements for the DM's Guild with more classic approaches to monsters and races.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I mean, what you're describing is a 6E, unless 2E was also a "1.5" but ignoring that...
I agree on the bounded accuracy idea, but not the classes. And to be clear, I don't think they'll do the bounded accuracy idea as it is too deep a structural change and would imply 6E. But I do think they'll rework some of the classes. That's kind of the point of revisions - to correct any problems that didn't show up until millions played the game.

Obviously there are things which literally must change:

Lineage and that general approach have to replace race
Alignment has to be downplayed further
Design has to move away from the "apology mode" of 2014 towards "we have 50m+ players" mode of 2021.
Tasha's choices built in to classes - making them the default in many cases.
What do you mean by the third one? I mean, I agree if you mean what I think you mean, but am not sure.

I'm OK with the first if it allows for recreating the traditional races, which I think it will, and even offering them as an optional default. That's a good example of how traditional and new can both be embraced. Sort of like the quick-start classes.

I'm really indifferent on alignment because I've never really played it as more than a guideline for behavior. But it will be interesting to see how they adjust all the little bits that are tied to alignment. And I hope they don't overly alter lore or limit creative directions.
Everything else is semi-optional:

FR should go as default setting, imho. Don't have a default setting or use a Nentir Vale strategy or even licence Wildemount in perpetuity if they'll let you for a reasonable price.
I like that, but not Wildemount - it is too stylized towards a certain play style. But yeah, FR feels a bit stale at this point.
Ranger needs to be reworked and finalized.
Re-jig Sorcerer to be pure spell points. Alternatively, remove him from the PHB and replace him with Psion or something.
Yes and yes, although I like the idea of a revampled sorcerer more than a replacment with psion. There is a tonal difference to the two.
Completely re-do healing and grittiness mechanics. Kill Hit Dice, they don't interact with much so it won't matter much. Replace them with something very like System Strain from Worlds Without Number, and actually make healing spells interact with it (it's very simple to do so).

Change short rests to 10 or 15 minutes. Long rests remain where they are but don't automatically set you to full HP.

Re-write the DMG completely. Top to bottom. Massively improve the quality of advice - nothing in the DMG stands up to the quality of advice in either DMG2 from 4E (!!!) or VRGtR which just came out. Completely replace all optional rules in the DMG with actually-playtested, actually-sane rules, none of this "I came up with it on a break to fill a requirement" stuff that we have now.
This reminds me that I've barely read through the DMG. It just isn't all that useful.
Archetype choice should be the same level for everyone. Probably 2. With the advice that experienced players can just start at L2. None of this nonsense where some people start with a theme etc. at L1 and others can't have it until L3.
I like it.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My take: Edition changes come from corporate. Corporate has learned the lesson of ".5" editions that are labelled as such with 3.5. So if they are going to come out with a "soft .5", like 4e Essentials, then very little will be revised because it needs to be 100% no rules that are not reflected in Errata for old books. There's no place for "comparable".

So, going with the assumption that they are coming out with a soft .5, what revisions are both important enough to put into errata? I can see things like the ability score system. And new art and covers. But not a lot of other rules that currently exist that they want to revise while still keeping old adventures and books still 100% relevant, as I explained above would be my take from corporate.

That said, I can easily see manuals of new stuff, much like Essentials, if they were doing a 5.5. Just not a lot of revisions.

(That's also why I think it's likely we'll see a 6e @ the 50th Anniversary - x.5 has been burned to corporate.)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Toast or an optional rule?

For the life of me I don't know why WotC can't take a both/and approach with some of these changes (e.g. alignment, racial ability mods, etc).
Toast. It already is.

They likely aren't going to take an either/or approach because (A) that would take up too much room in a book to have two sets of rules, which would just be annoying because each DM would have to decide which to use, and what do the AL people pick? and (B) there's really no point. The information you want is already there.

You can take a look at a monster description and statblock and decide, based on what's included in it, if the creature is going to be malign or benign: "Hmm, says here harpies take "glee in suffering and death," so I guess they're bad guys." Or you can simply say "I want a powerful, dramatic monster for this adventure that takes place in the desert, and I think brass dragons are cooler than blue dragons, so there's the bad guy."

You can take a look at a heritage's description (and even the associated artwork!) and decide what ASIs are "appropriate." "Hmm, orcs are generally over six feet tall, and most of the art for them makes them seem really ripped. They're mostly pretty strong," or you can simply say, "I want to play a wizard, and I want to play a tiefling. I'll put the +2 in Intelligence." And that's no more min/maxing than saying "I want to play a wizard, and I want to play a tiefling, but tieflings don't get an Int bonus and since I want to be effective, I'll guess I'll have to either play a gnome wizard or a tiefling sorcerer instead to get race/class synergy."
 

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