D&D 5E What rule(s) is 5e missing?

No no no, you roll 2d4 for the multiplier!
you joke but in 2e a friend made WILDLY bad crit tables where you rolled 2d20 and took the best (advantage before advantage) on the chart but then there was special for double 1's and double 20's... the double 20's was roll 2d6 and multiply damage by the number... we had alot of PC deaths from those tables but I only once remember a double 20... from a thief that had a x4 back stab hitting with a dagger for 1d4+x (I want to say +2) so he did 2d4+4 x4 x9 just over 300 damage

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Why I don't want Level Drain, I do wish that undead of all kinds had something just more profound in how they were portrayed as a threat. Draining maximum hit points is one thing, but feels a bit limp. I think it'd be cooler if Energy Drain was temporary damage to your Constitution score. Maybe a chunk of the damage goes to your Con score, which returns to normal at the start of your turn. But if it dropped your Con score below 10, you take a level of exhaustion, or two if it was a critical or dropped you to 0 Con.

Have it be maybe 1d4 + PB for CR 1-10, 1d8 + PB for 11-20, and 1d12 + PB for 21+.

But, exhaustion is hard to get rid of, but the template is still there. You could replace that level of exhaustion with Level Up's fatigue idea, or you could replace it with Van Richten's Stress Mechanic, and so on.
Anything so long as you don't have to track XP totals with and without the drain, and remember the rules for what happens to the 400 xp you picked up after the drain if you do get the 1,327 you had drained back (and do you re-roll HP for levels you regained, and all the other nuisances). Also not making having to re-calculate derived abilities for drained attributes, or making character age-to-lifespan a secondary HP track and such. At least for my groups, TSR-style Undead drain wasn't hated because of the danger* it possessed, but for the sheer annoyance
*this is D&D, there are no-resurrection deathtraps and cursed magic items around every corner. Or just plain being eaten by a bear at level 2.

Base 5e's exhaustion mechanics are (IMO) kinda crummy, I personally wouldn't expand their use. Level Up's fatugue, VR's stress, or heck use draining max hp but just make them take more effort to recoup would all be interesting ideas.
Look, I've played fantasy ttrpg's a long time. I started in AD&D. I've had my fair share of tracking rations and ammunition, keeping careful inventory of potions and consumable magic items, stocking vials of acid, alchemist's fire, holy water, 10 foot poles, tents, wineskins, 50' ropes and grappling hooks.

I've carefully navigated long dungeon corridors loaded with traps, and dealt with difficult terrain, bandits, wild animals, foraging for food, and the simple problem of knowing which way north is.

Not once has it ever been fun for me. Finding cool places to explore and loot is fun. The act of traveling in the wilderness to get there, is not. Most travel in D&D is boring. You travel for a few hours, mark off your rations, make sure you have a source of fresh water, keep a marching order, set watches, sleep, and get some random encounters.

Only a few, very good DM's over the years have found ways to make exploration anything better than a filler arc. I'm not one of them. I realized this early on.

So what I do is I set a few "interesting moments" up in advance. I say "you guys travel X days and Y miles, and these are the Z things you see that are interesting on your trip". I'm quite happy when a game allows me to have characters with things like endure elements, create food and water, alarm, know direction, and tiny hut so we can get to more exciting parts of the game.

Some people enjoy this style of play, and I'm happy for them. But when they wax nostalgic about the "good old days", I'm left going, "I was there. They weren't always that good."

The idea of a big world and lots of travel time is to make the world seem more real and full of life. To make it larger. But the game has always had a paradigm that shrinks the world very quickly.

For many characters, save for heavy armor users, your first big ticket item in a lot of the old games was a mount of some kind. Perhaps your party buys a cart to carry around supplies and treasure. Maybe your DM will even not go out of their way to kill your mounts while you explore the Ruin of the Week.

Eventually you find handy haversacks, murlynd's spoons, ration boxes, or instant fortresses, items that have existed for a very long time, and seemingly only do so to less the ease of long treks.

Maybe you finally get enough free spell slots to cast the many spells that have been part of the game for decades now to bypass these challenges.

Or maybe your party has a skilled outdoorsmen to begin with, like a Ranger or Druid, who, depending on the edition, have "bypass wilderness challenges" as their hat.

I find it telling that the game has always been about shrinking the world and getting you to places faster, with spells and magic items to deal with logistics problems.

You find a Quiver of Ehlonna? You buy a few hundred gp worth of arrows and never worry about ammunition again.

Only in the very early game has this ever really been a problem, unless the DM goes out of their way to try and prevent players from solving it.

And eventually, Wizards get the ability to teleport across the world in an instant- a point few, if any old school games (or new school, for that matter) I played in ever reached.

In fact, most of the AD&D DM's I personally know liked to impose training costs, level drains, and other hindrances to ensure you stayed at the "sweet spot" of levels pretty much forever. Because they knew the game changed after awhile, and they knew they didn't care for that change.

When 3e came out, and made magic items a little more player facing, and players were given reasons to delve a little more deeply into their spell lists (spontaneous cure spells for Clerics as an example), suddenly, this entire approach to playing vanished overnight.

A 5th level Cleric could keep their party protected from the dangers of a harsh desert indefinitely, leaving the only real problem the thing that you need adventurers for in the first place. Monsters.

If someone wants to kitbash the game to recapture this style of play, they can, but it really feels like they are fighting the system to return to a time that barely ever existed.
Semi-agree. Bags of holding have existed since day one specifically because even Gary and crew found tracking of equipment something of a nuisance to be circumvented after a certain point in play. I think every group tried tracking rations fastidiously at least once and (especially after the Wilderness Survival Guide came out) tried making a survivalism campaign for a little while. But not for very much of their TSR-D&D-playing experience.
I think what I saw the most of was travel time to destination, coupled with wilderness wandering monsters. 'Bring a ranger or invest in these NWPS, otherwise you'll fight twice as many (low-XP, as you probably won't find the lair-treasure) fights on the way to the dungeon, and might start out without all your HP' is a meaningful threat to work around. 'bring extra food, or else you will starve to death' really isn't, as it is a trigger no one wants to pull. 'I guess everyone starved, roll new characters' would be the peak of nofun, and I doubt happened much. I think it would have honestly been better if the consequences of running out of food was more like 'planned adventure aborted. PCs emerge in nearest settlement in 5d6 days; dirty, dazed, and confused; talking about living on squirrels and cattails and Sir Robin's Minstrels. Roll item saving throw for each important piece of gear to determine if it got lost in the desperation or damaged when misused as makeshift survival gear.' Even then I think it might be too pointless-seeming to see much use (people just overstock rations so as never to deal with it. Yay, everyone's encumbrance limit drops 10%. So much changed).
Tracking torches and arrows, at least, did make sense to me as running out of them doesn't create a game-boring catastrophic failure, but merely a limitation around which you have to work. If you don't have arrows, you pull out your sword and just have to be up alongside the front-liners until you can buy some more (or more likely defeat an enemy who has some). Run out of torches? Well okay, you can go back to town with your treasure, or have the darkvision races go back in without whomever now can't see. Meaningful choices and decisions.

Regardless, and I'm learning this making a sandbox game for my current group, the primary way you make wandering in the wilderness interesting is by placing interesting things into it. Particularly places the PCs wouldn't otherwise seek out. Sacred grotto with a mystic who can write down natural philosophy rambles (someone with ritual caster:druid can get more spells for their books); hermit who sells owlbear repellant in return for wheels of cheese; ancient temple to the otherwise unknown religion (opening up domain option, or maybe has the true name of a campaign relevant demon somewhere within); etc. Having/not having enough food doesn't cut it, becomes tedious, and then gets circumvented.
Sample DCs for common happenstances (chandelier swing, etc.).

It gets frustrating every time I have to translate some samples from the core rulebook of an another game (
I don't think this will happen for 5e because it requires them coming down solidly on where on the realistic/cinematic/mythic scale (non-magical) D&D is supposed to be. The fanbase has strongly-held, mutually-incompatible desires on that subject, and thus it is in their best interest not to answer the question.
At least moreso than they already have. There is a DC list for common happenstances, it's just universal and tautological (Hard tasks have DC 20. What is a hard task? Something that would require a DC 20 to complete). The current setup lets play with the same system (if not together, minus negotiation on this point) groups who think that that a D&D Hard task should be what an IRL medieval soldier would find hard, those that think it should be what John McClane would find hard, and those that think it should be what Perseus or Fionn mac Cumhaill would find hard.
They tried solid numbers tied to specific IRL qualities* in 3e and there was much complaining about the skill/general task resolution system, and again in 4e and there was much complaining about the skill/general task resolution system. So now they are vaguebooking all the way down and... I don't know? People on forums with very important opinions on how games ought be built complain frequently. Those people I know who are new to D&D with 5e find it... well, each would put in their own chart based on their own preference on the realism-epic spectrum, but barring that not finding it an incomprehensible compromise.
*Well, since forever if you include the lifting capacities and speed-moved, converted back to MPH or KPH, and no one ever is satisfied with those.
What is this in reference to?
I am guessing 3e D&D's Book of Exalted Deeds. Lots of stuff in there was 'damage evil entities only' along with a few effecting any non-good instead.


Magic Wordsmith
Suppose you had a choice between SCs and more nuanced results (the now fairly typical success, success with setback, failure with consequences)... which would you prioritise?

I know they're not a dichotomy, I just wondered which might have the higher priority to solve first?
I'm not sure I understand the question, but I'll take a crack at it: I would prefer the structure of a skill challenge that is more formalized and mathed out so that success is achievable for higher complexity challenges, but modified to suit D&D 5e's play expectations around ability checks.


(he, him)
Holy Word et all, the spells that explodicate anyone who doesn't think the way you do, strike them blind and then pats you on the back for it.
That is just an area of effect attack, like fireball, except that it avoids some collateral damage. I am pretty sure that good characters are supposed to avoid all the collateral damage (at least as far as they reasomably can), manually where necessary. They certainly do not get patted on the back for it in my campaigns!



That is just an area of effect attack, like fireball, except that it avoids some collateral damage. I am pretty sure that good characters are supposed to avoid all the collateral damage (at least as far as they reasomably can), manually where necessary. They certainly do not get patted on the back for it in my campaigns!

It calls itself Good while explicitly targeting Neutral folks for suffering.

It's not like it 'accidently' hurts neutrals, it has a line especially calling out how it hurts neutral people differently.

Why should achieving this result with a Charisma check against a hostile creature be considered anything less than difficult (DC 20)?

The creature does as asked as long as no risks or sacrifices are involved.


That doesn't make it better.
It's not even difficult though. Take a level 10 character as an example:
  • +5 from attribute
  • +4 from mere proficient or +8 from expertise.
  • +1d4 from guidance (avg 2.5)
  • that's already a good 11.5-15.5 towards that DC20 & we haven't even tossed in "and I help him" from the help action for advantage. Again the success chance is about double or better the batting average record brought up a few times earlier.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Why should achieving this result with a Charisma check against a hostile creature be considered anything less than difficult (DC 20)?

The creature does as asked as long as no risks or sacrifices are involved.
Here's my reasoning. First, it's not like we're asking these people to turn on their leaders, join us in taking out a dragon, or giving us their loot. This is simply put "we could fight you and kill you, but we're giving you an option, just stand aside and let us fight your boss, who you don't like anyways, and if you really want to, we can fight on the way back".

Second, it has to do with probabilities. Yes, I know, you can potentially lower the DC, and you might be able to get Help, but if you're looking at a DC 20, you have to understand a max level character has a very high chance to fail that.

Only a true Diplomancer with Expertise in Persuasion can look at a DC 20 and make it reliably (although the issue with Expertise is that they probably make it too reliably...).

Not every party is going to have someone with max Charisma, nor should they be expected to. But in this case, a guy with a 16 Charisma with a +6 proficiency bonus makes that check a coin flip.

And finally, third, parlaying with enemies should be something lower level parties do. Higher level parties can just mop the floor with goons, lol. So putting DC's like this beyond the reach of low level characters (save for a very high die roll) seems rather absurd to me.

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