D&D 5E What rules would you like to see come back in 5E?

Mishihari Lord

First Post
Crits and fumbles can be a lot of fun, if done well. The add drama, tension, and sometimes humor to play.

Done poorly, though, they can be a real problem. My very first game of Rolemaster, in the very first encounter a PC was hit by a critical from a portcullis trap: he looked up and one of the bars skewered him right through the eye, killing him instantly. Even if it comes up only rarely, that type of mechanic can play hob with an RPG in many playstyles.
 

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delericho

Legend
Done poorly, though, they can be a real problem. My very first game of Rolemaster, in the very first encounter a PC was hit by a critical from a portcullis trap: he looked up and one of the bars skewered him right through the eye, killing him instantly. Even if it comes up only rarely, that type of mechanic can play hob with an RPG in many playstyles.

Heh. I ran a "Black Crusade" one-shot last year, in which the Sorcerer, as his first action in the first combat of the game, used one of his powers on "push", which guaranteed a side-effect, rolled on the big table of effects.

At this point, there was a lot of laughing and joking about the possibility of him rolling a 100 on that d% (thus triggering a reroll on the next table up), followed by 98+ - a result that would kill the character instantly.

It turned out that that was exactly what happened.

Funnily enough, that proved to be the highlight, and the most memorable event, of that game. We let the result stand (and the player brought in a backup character). However, had it been a 'regular' campaign session, I expect we would probably have rerolled, because it sucks to lose a long-held, and story-significant, character to a 3-in-10,000 chance like that.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I would not like to see random re-rolling for initiative each round but I would like to see a system based on weapon speed or something like that.
Perhaps something like martial classes can make a bluff check that if it succeeds they can increase their initiative count by a die roll based on weapon. Perhaps something like a d4 weapon can shift initiative by d12 and a d12 weapon by d4, that sort of thing.

I would like action points back in and from 4e the ability that the daily power provided to really nova in a fight. Not sure how that could be made work in 4e though. Give un hit die for extra weapon die in one attack?
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Just a very good reason NEXT needs to move forward and keep most of these things in it's history.

Almost all of these things didn't make it into 3rd edition, then stayed gone with 4th for very good reason, there are people who like them but they have their version of D&D already. NEXT is trying to move to the future while keeping the "feel" of the past, not the headache associated with a myriad of different subsystems and overly complex things like weapon speed and casting times.

This thread to me is "What rules would I like to never see come back in any edition of D&D"

I agree they want to reduce the fiddly bits, but I disagree that everything in this thread qualifies as such. I think some things were dropped for 3e for mechanical reasons which don't exist in 5e. Like for example the requirement in 3e that monsters function by the same mechanics as PCs.

Some also was in 3e, just done poorly. For example, spell interruption was there, but a concentration check was so trivially easy that it became meaningless. Followers and retainers were there, but it was so regimented by a feat that it became an on/off thing for just niche character concepts due to the dominance of feats in 3e. Morale was there, but it was buried in the intimidation rules and never really worked great.

I think 5e should reconsider some of the things dropped, or done poorly in 3e and 4e, and see if it can make them work again.
 
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Blackwarder

Adventurer
Not to mention that cyclic initiative completely changed the nature of fights in D&D, so it doesn't realy matter if there is a concentration roll or not since 90% of the times it doesn't come into play.

I realy wish they add rules for per round initiative, and for moral checks.

Warder
 


JRRNeiklot

First Post
Crits and fumbles can be a lot of fun, if done well. The add drama, tension, and sometimes humor to play.

Done poorly, though, they can be a real problem. My very first game of Rolemaster, in the very first encounter a PC was hit by a critical from a portcullis trap: he looked up and one of the bars skewered him right through the eye, killing him instantly. Even if it comes up only rarely, that type of mechanic can play hob with an RPG in many playstyles.

That doesn't sound like one done poorly to me. I would absolutely have loved that. While I never like losing a character, that tale would be told around the table for 40 years.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Not to mention that cyclic initiative completely changed the nature of fights in D&D, so it doesn't realy matter if there is a concentration roll or not since 90% of the times it doesn't come into play.

I realy wish they add rules for per round initiative, and for moral checks.

Warder

This really is an interesting quandary. The 2e initiative system really did present some interesting tactical choices, particularly regarding spell interruption. But the cyclical initiative introduced in 3e is a lot more streamlined and game-friendly. It also manages durations well and fairly. So, both systems have some distinct benefits to them.
 

JRRNeiklot

First Post
With cyclic initiative, it is very hard to pursue anyone. If two characters have the same movement rate, one can never catch the other until they start failing con checks - barring outside interference, of course.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
With cyclic initiative, it is very hard to pursue anyone. If two characters have the same movement rate, one can never catch the other until they start failing con checks - barring outside interference, of course.

Ideally, I don't think you'd want to use initiative to significantly inform that anyway, particularly once both parties are running.
 

JamesonCourage

Adventurer
With cyclic initiative, it is very hard to pursue anyone. If two characters have the same movement rate, one can never catch the other until they start failing con checks - barring outside interference, of course.
On the flip side, though, couldn't a much slower creature catch a much faster creature? If we use 3e/4e rounds (6 seconds) and speeds, it can still come out weird. Let's take a creature with a 25 foot speed (a human in armor, say) and a 50 foot speed (ogre barbarian, or something). It could look like this:

Setup: The creatures are 5 feet apart (the ogre was being attacked by the human), but most of the ogre's companions have died, so he decides to run.
Round 1: Roll for initiative. Ogre wins. He moves 100 feet away (double move), so he's 105 feet away. The human runs after him (closes 50 feet), so he's now only 55 feet away.
Round 2: Roll for initiative. Human wins. He closes to 5 feet (double move 50 feet). The ogre can move away again, but it'd give the human a free attack.

This looks okay game-wise, but what we just saw was a creature that moves twice as quickly as its pursuer (the ogre is twice as fast as the human) being caught, somehow. Personally, I'd rather just have better rules for pursuit.
 


Hussar

Legend
Additionally, with the 2e initiative rules, it really did favor speed. Which often favored both light weapon users and casters. Most spells, particularly combat spells, had casting times equal to their level. So, even a fireball has a casting time of 3. Medium sized monster had a base init mod of 3, meaning that it came out a wash, but, anything bigger than medium went to +6 or higher. Which basically meant that casters went first most of the time. Particularly when you factor in Dex mods as well.

Random initiative means you cannot really have 1 round duration effects. They just don't work.
 



Tom Strickland

First Post
Yup I think we had a Paladin and his holy avenger crit a fellow party member.

My gaming group has an informal, legendary "badge of honor (infamy)" called: belonging to the "Double Ought Club" [as in buckshot] and referring to one party member inadvertently slaying a fellow member by fumbling and then crit'ing with the "00" highest possible result:

1. Threatening a fumble (roll a 1 on d20)
2. Confirming that fumble with a follow-up straight d20 roll which is the penalty to yet another roll: a DC 10 DEX check (so a 1 then 1 is piddly, but a 1 then 20 is bad even at higher levels for agile characters)
3. Rolling on any of several convenient Fumble charts/tables where there is an option to: Roll to hit Friend/Ally (which is different from charts that say you have an automatic critical hit)
4. Threatening a critical hit against that (sometimes randomly determined) party member (even if not adjacent, because, after all, this is some strange twist of fate during the heat of battle)
5. Confirming said potential critical hit while they look on in sometimes stunned speechlessness, or else rant at the ridiculousness of it all
6. Rolling on another convenient Critical Hit chart/table
7. Managing--seemingly despite all sequential odds--to produce the double-zero dice of doom result (in this case) which on the chart we have used for some time results in instant death if the hapless creature (character) is subject to death through the smashing, piercing, or slicing off of one's head

Amazingly, over the years, two players have actually accomplished that multi-step, highly improbable feat, and they grin and fidget when it is brought up--but everybody laughs.
 

Tom Strickland

First Post
Since it was mentioned as a candidate for both retaining and also--in contrast--excising:

Vancian magic likely remains appealing over a long time for some gamers despite numerous logical and fun alternates being available in fiction and RPG's (D&D and also others) because of: the stories.

Several current, famous authors give hat tips or more to his writings in multiple genres. I have read extensively in the fantasy and some in the sci-fi realms, especially in previous decades. I did read an anthology of "Dying Earth" tales as a tribute recently. Jack Vance's stories are delightful, magical adventures with danger, cunning, and intrigue, all set in rich tapestries of settings, people and behaviors.

So some people who like "vancian magic" in D&D do so because it captures a flavor of magic and adventure. Are there "better" systems? I don't look at it that way. A long time ago I considered the variant and other systems--aside from fully embracing numerous CRPG spell-systems with cool-downs, etc.--and decided that I would run with the Vancian mechanics in P&P because much effort had been spent by great, creative minds, to "balance" entire ecosystems comprised of skills, feats, spells, supernatural abilities, powers, class and creature abilities, etc.

It is fun for me at least to deal with the limitations of choosing spells, and it is also fulfilling to succeed. [That is probably what provided a particular type of intriguing literary creative tension in Jack Vance's stories for the (otherwise all-) powerful wizards, and which can also "work" in D&D]. To mitigate the challenges and rise to the occasion, there are:

1. Scrolls, Wands, Rods, Staves [can you say flexible (at a cost)?]
2. Misc. items of power (rings of spell storing, wizardry, elements, etc.)
3. Partial memorization
4. Memory recall and mnemonic enhancers
5. Feats (gain more spells, gain spell-like 3/day, memorize favs w/out book, change energy dmg on-the-fly, etc.
6. Wishes
7. Shadow magic
8. Illusions
9. Swap one higher for many lower
10. Divination school
11. Permanency
12. Use of spells (scrying), summoned, familiars, invis/ethereal/other recon, other techniques to gain intel

Etc. Etc.

Some very appealing mechanics in an RPG system may very well be generated naturally and organically by representing or distilling a "flavor" from compelling fiction that was not necessarily intentionally written to conform to or else launch a game-playing universe. That is also to say that: not all logical and efficient rules in a game system (for fun and competition in imaginative situations) are necessarily the most interesting, or provide a delightful set of challenges which naturally bring about that sometimes elusive quality of character (and player) growth and fulfillment.
 

sunshadow21

Explorer
Cleric domains/spheres. So there will be some spells that sit in a universal domain/sphere that all Clerics get, but the othere domains/spheres that Clerics do/don't get access to are determined by the god that they worship.

I want a Cleric of Pelor and a Cleric of Kord to have more differences than the holy symbol they carry and the domain spells they can cast. They should feel and play differently.

Very much yes.

As for the rest:

Vancian for wizards and clerics (keeping PF style cantrips/orisons), but come up with a spell point system or something like PF's Words of Power for spontaneous casters. Vancian is actually very good at representing full prepared casters; it just sucks at representing much of anything else.

Morale, henchmen, and per round initiative could be done without too much effort, but probably shouldn't be core. Some people really love these, for others, they just slow the game down. Still, they don't actually generally significant changes to the core system itself, and would be natural supplemental material.

Spell interruption would be nice in theory, but figuring out how to do it without completely screwing casters over would be difficult. I would say similar things about most of the other issues raised here. They are nice in theory, but probably not worth the effort needed to get them right, and many of them are definitely not worth the effort of figuring out at the table in the middle of a combat. There's a reason they got left behind; concepts are all well and good, but in actual game application, not all concepts hold up. Some, like the above mentioned, can be tacked on as optional material, but others, like weapon speed, really require integration into the core mechanics in ways that simply add complication that most people won't use or want.

Race/Class restrictions: no, no, no, no, no. I have no problem with, and would even encourage, listing some combinations as rarer, and thus more likely to have social/rp implications that players may not want to deal with, but no outright restrictions. If a dwarf wants to be a wizard, so be it; the backstory and focus should reflect the uniqueness of it, but it should be allowed. For instance, I once created a dwarf wizard that focused on enchanting weapons and battlefield spells/buffs. The character was seen as a bit odd, but useful, and no particular reason to be completely shunned. After all, just because they don't usually focus on arcane magic doesn't mean that dwarves can't benefit from the occasional wizard as much as anybody else can. As a similar example, the normally non-magic using orcs and goblins typically have a shaman/druid/cleric type or two running around somewhere in the background. An army of dwarven wizards or an entire tribe of druidic orcs, on the other hand, would require considerably more backstory to explain.

One of my own I haven't seen (or missed if they have been mentioned):
a return to the one minute round: removes the need for hyper detailed combat round rules, a big source of debate and contention from 3.0 on; would work best if you could keep some form of the standard action, move action (with an established movement rate), free action, etc, in order to keep some uniformity without going into in-depth details
 

babomb

First Post
I don't think I want a full return to 1E/2E-style initiative, but I do think I want enough of it to allow for spell interruption. I think this could be achieved with 3E-style initiative by simply making most spells go off at the beginning of your NEXT turn (or in some cases longer). Alternatively, I'd be okay with having the round divided into broad phases, like 1) start casting spells, 2) everything else, 3) spells go off.

Morale. I don't think I ever used morale rules as written in 2E, but the fact that monsters all had morale listed was a good reminder that not all fights should be to the death.

Cleric spheres were one of the best things about 2E over 3E and 4E, and I'd like them to make more of a difference than in 5E currently.

I kind of miss called shots. They were a little clunky at the best of times in 2E, I know, but aiming at weak points feels like something that should be possible, at least some of the time. It would probably work better with an armor-as-DR system.
 


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